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Life Story
52-0720A, Life Story, Civic Center, Hammond, IN, 146 min

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L-1 Good evening, friends, or afternoon, rather. I'm happy to be here this afternoon. And [] and if there's any good thing, let it be for the glory of God.
If Mr. Jackson is in here from South Africa, Brother Jackson, if he's in the--the meeting this afternoon, Billy wants to see you at the book concession right away, Brother Jackson, about arrangements for tonight on leaving, if you will. He told me to announce that he wanted to meet you at the book stand right now. All right. And Billy, wherever you are, why, Brother Jackson will go to the book stand right away.
Now, to the--the audience, I wish to address you this afternoon in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. As God has given me this privilege, along with you, to be His representative, His servant, and His child by grace, through Jesus Christ. Many of us have many things that we would--could tell. Each one could get up here and tell a life story. Many of us probably would be full of victory and power, and many of us would be full of heartaches and disappointments.
L-2 And we each one have a life that God has given us, and we must live it. And I... to my humble opinion, if you'll get this, I think the most best life in the world, no matter whether it's up or down, if we'll find God's path and walk in it, where God has ordained for us to walk... If we always, we find victory no matter... I think of blind Fanny Crosby when she was sitting there in the darkness, the question was once asked, "What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?"
And I think of all the men, and great men down through the ages, any man that ever amounted to anything mostly, were men and women who believed Jesus Christ. Isn't that right? And I think of how the prophets wrote of Him and how the--the ancient men, they foretold of Him, and how the patriarchs, how they... The rulers who raised against Him was brought low, and so forth.
L-3 And I think down through the age, I think of the father of our nation, George Washington, how he trusted God. I think of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, of course, I don't... I'm not a politician, but Lincoln was my favorite amongst all the presidents we've ever had. He had to come up the hard way, maybe because I had to come that way is the reason I sympathize with Lincoln: splitting rails, and writing in the dirt, and--and so forth. And the only books that we believe that Lincoln ever had until he was twenty-one years old, was the Bible and the Foxe "Book of Martyrs." That's what molded that character.
Let me see what you read; let me go in your office, in your house, and see what you read, I will about tell you what you are. That's right. See, everything's with nature. And you keep the Bible laying close for your children, read It yourself, be an example. That's what I didn't have in my younger life. But by God's grace I want to put that before my children. And if there is another generation, may they put It before theirs. And now, if we could think today...
I heard you when I come in last night. My heart was thrilled when you was singing: "All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name," let angels prostrate fall.
L-4 Just late, Doctor Dewitt, when he was dying, he was standing before his congregation; he was trying to represent Jesus Christ as being the greatest of all, He was God, He was Emmanuel, and how His power should be in the Church and would make them quit their selfishness. He was a pastor of a great church. And his congregation even was against him. They were waiting here for conference so they could vote him out, and so forth, and send him away.
But his heart was a bleeding. And so then while he was preaching his heart out one day, he had a heart attack, fell forward. There happened to a physician in the church, come to him and said, "Doctor Dewitt, you just have a few minutes longer to live. You can't make it."
He called for two faithful deacons who held up his hands. And he got his hands up and stood him to his feet, and said, "Let me stand on my feet, as long as there is breath in my body."
L-5 Behind him was the cross that represented the cross--the cross of Christ, back there, by his baptistery. And he stood up like that; he said, "If I have one word I want to say, is this:
All hail the power of Jesus' Name, let angels prostrate fall.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all."
He started staggering backwards like that, when he went backwards, he throwed one arm around one side of the cross, and one, the other, and throwed his head down, and went to meet the Lord. Hallelujah. That's the way to go.
I think of Paul Rader, that great gallant hero who stormed Chicago, about the last revival you've ever had in Chicago. When Paul Rader stood there, went out there and he was among his own people had put him to grief, and sorrow, and upset which gave him a cancer, and after while, died. The people that was against him, and doing so was the ones who done it. When he was... The little Moody Bible Institute over here had the little quartet, as I understand, out there singing for him. They had the window shades pulled down, and he was dying. And Paul was quite a cut up. Puts me in like form of mind of Brother Bosworth. He's always has a little sense of humor.
L-6 And so he looked around; he seen the curtains all down. He come to himself, looked around and said, "Say, who's dying here, me or you?" Said, "Raise them shades and sing me some good Gospel songs: snappy." And they got to singing: "Down At the Cross Where My Saviour Died," or something like that, said, "that sounds better."
Says, "Where's Luke?" And Luke was back in the other room; they brought Luke in to where he was. He took hold of his hand, and said, "Luke, we've come a long ways together, brother, down through the shady lanes." But said, "Think of it. In five minutes from now, I will be standing in the Presence of Jesus Christ, clothed in His righteousness." He died.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
With partings, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
L-7 Markers for others to travel... Think of Lincoln, when he was shot there because of his gallantry and standing for humane and what was right and for God. Told when he was going to die, when they... The bullet that went through his... below his... in his body there, and--and he was smothering to death, he said, "Turn my head towards the setting of the sun." He said, "Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thine will be done," repeating the model prayer as he went out to meet God. Oh, my. What are we? Men and women...
Look at Eddie Perronet there. He was a persecuted and everything, and what he thought. He wrote the--the... One day there, when the inspiration hit him, he picked up the pen and wrote the inauguration song:
All Hail The Power Of Jesus' Name.
I think of...?... there, when he wrote the
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I think of blind Fanny Crosby. "What could God promise you? You never seen daylight in your life? You were blind all your life. What do you think about Jesus Christ?"
She said,
Pass me not, O gentle Saviour,
Hear my humble cry.
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.
Thou the stream of all my comfort, more than life to me, whom have I on earth beside Thee, or whom in heaven but Thee?"
Let us be up and doing,
With a heart for any strife;
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero.
L-8 Each one of you is a Christian. You are a borned again Christian, then let's stand up. No matter how bad the background has been, let's look forward now to the coming of our Lord, when this mortal will take on immortality. Back to...
A few moments now. Try not to keep you no longer. Already, I'm past time: twenty minutes after three. I'm... Go about an hour. I will try to be finished if I can. I... Many of you here has probably has heard the life story, things that I hate to go back over, but I...
One of my greatest altar calls I ever made in America, I had two thousand sinners to come to Jesus Christ in Pensacola, Florida, after the life story one afternoon. I trust to God, that was next to the Durban where we had thirty thousand.
Now, I want to read a portion of Scripture, always God's Word, 'cause my word fails, but God's Word can't fail. Now, found in the 13th chapter of Hebrews, beginning with the 10th verse, and reading the 14th verse inclusive:
We have an altar, whereof they who have no right... which serve tables.
For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burnt without the camp.
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. [Hebrews 13:10-14]
L-9 How many of you is away from home today, let's see your hands, away from home? My, just looky here. As I think, if I had time we'd sing that song: we're pilgrims and we're strangers here, were seeking a City to come. Is that right? No matter where you ever roam, there will be no place who--what will ever take home's place. Is that right?
Wouldn't you just like to take a little trip today? Most all of you here are my age, or maybe a little above. And wouldn't you just like to go back to childhood, just spin a little wheel and go back and live another day in childhood? Wouldn't you love to do that? Oh, how I would like to. Even though, with it's sorrows, and tears, and disappointments, I'd like to live one more day of it, just to go back.
L-10 I remember the little old place where I come from, and no matter how humble it was... Every one of you here can remember the old place where mother used to stand under the tree, perhaps, on an old cedar wash tub with a washboard, you was a little girl or boy, playing around. Many times you remember that, the many heartaches, and sorrows that's went through, how you pulled onto her an old spotted apron. Like to see her again today, but that can't be now. No, she's gone on.
Like to see old dad, when I used to see him come from the field with that red handkerchief sticking in his pocket. See him get up of a morning, on a cold morning, go back and make a fire in a big old drum stove. I used to hear him sing:
Oh, where is my boy tonight,
My heart overflows
For a loving he knows,
Oh, where is my boy tonight?

I seen him stand by the little old wash bench with his sleeves rolled up, and washing his face and hands; and he had real black wavy hair. He'd look around. Oh, how I would like to see him once more. But I can't; he's gone on. Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. If you could go back to the home where you was raised at, it wouldn't be the home that you was one time. [Hebrews 13:10-14]
L-11 Here a few days ago, I was taking someone who came to visit me up to where the old home place was. Why, there's a housing project. Well, it--it isn't the old home any more. We have no continuing city.
I remember when I... First little old home we lived in was a log house. There was about three or four of us little Branhams out there. We didn't even have a floor, just--just the dirt. Papa, in the--right in the middle of the floor, he had a--a stump that'd been sawed off and laid in there, some rock laid on top of it; and old drum stove sitting there. And how that the table, what it was made out of: an old bench that he got some boards off of a barn down there, and sawed a bench out like a church pew like, and set it behind the table. [Hebrews 13:10-14]
L-12 And mama had a little old, what we call a monkey stove. Anybody know what a monkey stove is, let's see your... Oh, my, that's fine. And old fashion coal oil lamp. Did you ever clean a lamp chimney? Let's see... Well ju... I'm not the only country boy here. I'm going to take off my coat and feel right at home. That's right. Yes, sir.
How many of you ever slept on a straw tick? Let's see your hand. Well, say, Chicago's not a big place after all, is it? That's right. My, my, how many times have I slept on an old straw tick. And first time you put in there, maybe feel the grasshopper kicking, have to get up and find him you know, when he was down in there. Why, many times I've done that. Sure.
L-13 Seen mama take that big old stick she had hanging on the wall, a piece of an old... Well, she done... used to... She'd used to poke her clothes with out in the--in the yard when she was boiling her clothes. Did you ever boil your clothes? Thank God. Oh, my, lye soap, you know? And she'd use that to put your clothes in. She had a string in it; she'd hang it up on the wall.
Now, that was herb on that side, but the other side was the--was the golden rule that hung on the other, right over the door. You see? It was a hickory about that long with all the ten commandments wrote out on the end of it. Little boys must behave, and dad believed in the golden rule in that way. So then, if that ever come up missing, there was a razor strop laying back in the back there. That took its place. I tell you, my education was pretty stiff. Dad, I...?... that Irish eyes flashed like Stonewall Jackson, I knowed something was in for me when--when I done wrong. But I love him today with all my heart. He never give me half the whippings that I deserve.
And then, I remember mama used to take that stick and smooth out the--the bed, you know, mash it down, you know, and smooth it out. How many knows what a bolster is? It's a big... Well, what do you know. Say, is anybody here from Kentucky, raise up your hand. Well, my, my, that's really something, isn't it? All right.
L-14 Down in Indiana, or this is Indiana. Down in Southern Indiana, it's some, I laughed there one day in my church, I said, "How many here is from Kentucky," and about two-thirds of them stood up. Someone said... I said, "I don't get it."
And one of them stood and said, "Brother Branham," said, "ground hogs in Kentucky just took the country." So coming across from over the other side.
But there, in the front of this little old log cabin, I remember, I used to look at them old chinks, mud in the cracks like that, and I'd say, "My, that house will stand forever. Why, it can't go down; what a wonderful place it is." But my, you should see it now. See? Here we have no continuing city.
And around in front of the door was a place wore off; it was just bare slick where we, little bunch of Branham's played out there like a bunch of little opossums, or something, around there, little bitty fellows, wallowing around over one another. Say, I--I'd like to live that over again. I--I really would, I--I say. [Hebrews 13:10-14]
L-15 I remember the old spring where I used to go down there and lay down on my stomach and drink and drink. Come back up, go out and take dad a jug of water out of the spring back out to the field where he was in harvest or something: worked so hard till I seen my mama cut his shirt loose from his back from sunburn, where it'd stick to his back, seventy-five cents a day to take care of me.
Look, it's true. You have read my life story, out there. My dad did drink, but I don't care what he done, he's still my daddy. And let me tell you something young folks, this afternoon. Don't you never get little enough to call your mother and dad "the old man and woman." You don't never do that, no matter what they are. No matter what they are; you respect them as your dad and mother. You'll never know what, how you love them, till you hear the cat... squeaking of a casket going out, and knowing that's the last of it. It won't be the "old man and woman" then.
L-16 A lot of times they're right, when you think they're wrong. Always, "Honor thy father and mother, which may lengthen the days upon the earth, the Lord thy God giveth thee." That's the first commandment with promise. Be kind to your mother and dad.
I remember my daddy died. He was just beginning to gray a little bit at the temples. When he laid there in the casket, and I picked up his head, which had died right on my arms... And I picked up his head and his locks of hair fall down, I thought, "Oh, dad." I looked at his hand. He had had his finger cut off there in the shredder one day. I thought of all the heartaches that I'd caused him. It wasn't "the old man," that was my daddy. I don't care who else, what they thought about him; he was still my dad. I loved him. And I love him today. I had the privilege of leading him to Christ. Now...
And my mother, also. My mother is a living. She's supposed to arrive here this afternoon. And I trust that she will get here. [Exodus 20:12], [Deuteronomy 5:16], [Ephesians 6:1-3]
L-17 Now, back in those days I remember some of the little things, just for details. I remember one thing that out-stood in them days, was, every Saturday night go to town to get the groceries. Did you ever have to do that, go in on a Saturday night and get the food for the week? We lived in the country, and I'd work hard all week. I got a dime, when I was a great big boy, twelve, fourteen years old. I got ten cents. Dad said, "Don't spend it all in one place: ten cents."
Billy says, "Daddy, you got five dollars you can let me have?" How things have changed, certainly have.
L-18 I remember that ten cents; I'd go to town, and, my, go into this store. And I'd get my--my dime changed, and I'd get a pennies worth of red hots, about that many in a sack. They wouldn't even let you look at them, hardly, for a penny now. Then I'd go over to get a penny ice cream cone, little bitty old ice cream cone. You get it for a penny. What a day that was. But now it's different.
Then when we were little bitty lads, I remember when we was all at home, you know, playing around the house, I used to see dad come home. And on Saturday evening, we'd all, or afternoon, he'd get a little old buckboard of affair, jersey wagon; we had a little old mule we hooked to that wagon. And if it was wintertime, we'd put straw in the back of the--of the wagon, little covered over wagon. And we'd get blankets and wrap up.
L-19 And dad and mother set in the front seat. And down the road they would go, and mother and dad talking you know, they was about twenty-five years old apiece, I guess. And they was setting up there talking, you know, driving this little old mule. Why, we was in first class. Wasn't our mule or wagon, but we were going somewhere, to the store.
Dad would get about three dollars and a half for the week. And he would go down there to spent every bit of it nearly for groceries to feed all those kiddies through the week. We didn't have fried chicken and so forth, but we did have to get things that really stuck to the ribs: potatoes, and things like that, that really hung on, went a long ways.
L-20 And so I remember when papa'd pay his grocery bill on Saturday nights, that was a treat for the little Branhams. He'd get a sack full of candy, little old peppermint stick candy. Say, you know, that--that was good. I remember when he'd come out there, maybe he'd have... Maybe there'd be four good-size sticks, and there was five Branham's to divide it between, every one looking to see if he got his share. Them sticks had to be broken up and divided just exactly the equal among them, 'cause all eyes was turned on that candy.
I guess I cheated little bit on it. All the kiddies would get all they could eat, you know, and they would just eat, and all... They couldn't eat their candy up. I licked mine a little while, you know, and I'd reach over and get a piece of that old brown paper sack the meal was wrapped in, and pulled off a little piece if it, and rolled it up, put it in my pocket; I wait till Monday. And so then, I think... Now, Monday come along, and mom would say, "Billy?"
I would say, "Yes, ma'am."
L-21 "Take the bucket." It wasn't one of these little old galvanized buckets; it was big cedar buckets, and an old gourd dipper. How many ever seen a gourd dipper? Oh, how...?... all right. All right, and go down in the spring and pull up the water, you know, and put into the bucket. My, that was a job.
I look over to my brother, I'd say, "Tell you what I will do. If you'll go get that bucket of water, I will take... I've got my candy yet; I will let you lick it till I count ten slow: one, two, like that." I was a business man, sat back in the shade, you know, while my brother went and got the water, lick on the candy. Oh, my, I tried to make that ten just about as good as I could, you know. And you ought to seen him lick. My, my. He got more than ten licks off of it all right.
Well, Monday would be a pretty good day for me, 'cause I keep that piece of candy, you know, just work right on that candy. And they knowed I had it too, you know, so I... Oh, my.
L-22 I guess today, I could go out and, not on Sunday, but some other day, and buy a box of Hershey's, but it'd never taste like that candy. How many of you eat peppermint candy and old fashion barrel crackers, let's see you hands? Oh, my, say, I'm telling you, that wouldn't go bad right now. That's right.
And--and oh, for meals we would have mulligan stew; we was Irish to the core, you know. And my, how many knows what mulligan stew is? Say, that's when you boil everything in the kitchen even to the dish rag almost, just put everything in a pot and boil it. That's right, get everything in there and boil it up: the turnips...?... the carrots, and the potatoes, and the beans, and the meal. And just put it all together and boil it. Well, almost... That mulligan stew would have to last two or three days; we had it on Sunday. Had beef in it, you know, so it had to be good: quarters worth of beef, my, chunk that big. So then it... Mama would dice it up.
L-23 Puts me to mind of Buddy Robinson, when he said he... One time Uncle Buddy said, "I tell you," said, "I went out West and they was having a depression out there." And said, "A great drought was on, and they had nothing to eat." Said, "The only thing we had was dried apples." Said, "I eat them for breakfast, drink them in water for dinner, swell them up in time for supper." So that's about the way that mulligan stew lasted, just constantly all... till about Wednesday it was played out, had to... Then we went back to something else. Great day though.
L-24 My, I remember how that back in those days, going to school, I remember brother and I, the one next to me (He's in glory too), and how we went to school together. We'd go to school, and we were about the poorest kids there was. We'd come across the river from Kentucky, and the Indiana people are just a little more wealthy than they are down in the mountain part of Kentucky, anyhow, where I was borned at. And--and I, being the only Kentuckian among them, I sure had a hard way to go; I mean I did. They just teased me all the time about being a corn cracker.
And so, I talk real funny, you know. I... It even... I didn't talk plain, maybe not yet, but I... little better job out of it. So I was kind of tongue-tied like, you know, and I'd talk funny, and they'd laugh at me. And oh, I had an awful time. And ragged, oh, my.
L-25 And I remember, there's one thing about my dad, he would... Now, if he owed a grocery bill, he'd go pay that bill. But if he had ten cents left over, he'd drink it. Everything he had, he drank up. And that's the reason today I'm so firmly against drinking. The reason I'm so firmly against that stuff is because I knew it ruined my home, and spoiled me from a love that... I always wanted to be loved, if somebody to love me. And even my people in that...?... while, I was... I--I it just didn't have it. And we went to school half naked. And what a horrible life we had all because of drink. My daddy was a--was a real man, if he just hadn't have had that habit of drinking.
And I know that it is one of the curses of the nation, and I'm against the thing. You say, "Will a little beer hurt you?" You just get borned again and just go ahead and drink all the beer you want to, after you get born again. That's right. You can just drink all you want after you get borned again. But you get borned again first, and that--that's all you have to do. [John 3:1-15], [Acts 2:37-39]
L-26 So then I remember in school one day when I seen, reading in my history, I was looking there, and no one was sitting there, and kiddies laughing at me, being so ragged, my hair hanging down my neck. They'd laugh at me. And I was reading a book where Abraham Lincoln got off of a boat down in New Orleans, and he was... He--he seen a colored man being auctioned off. He said, "That's wrong." He said, "That's wrong. And someday I will hit that. If it takes my life, I will hit it." And he did, and it took his life, exactly. And I scooted my geography book, not mine, but one I had borrowed, I didn't have any of my own. I pushed it back, and I said, "And drinking is wrong, and someday I will hit if it takes my life." Against it? Yes, sir.
L-27 And I say this in regards right now, that any person that's really had a touch of Jesus Christ is finished with drinking. That's right.
I got my first Bible. People used to say, "Is it wrong to do this? Wrong to smoke? Wrong to drink?" I made... put a little slogan in the back of my Bible. I picked it up here a few days ago, and was looking at it, a little bitty old Bible. I said,
Don't ask me foolish questions,
Just make this up in your mind,
If you love the Lord with all your heart,
You don't smoke, chew, or drink any shine.

And that's right. That's still the thing to do and that's been twenty years ago since I wrote it in there. A man that's born again has no use for the stuff. Now, look what it's hatched out here in America. You can see whether there's any harm to it or not.
L-28 One time we had prohibition; 'course we had gang wars and things. But what did they do, just like fooling around with an egg: go to fool with the middle of it, you have the whole thing everywhere. And I'm not... And I say I'm not a politician or nothing; it's none of my business what they do; that's their business. Mine's to preach the Gospel. But here's one thing, brother, that when... just as we went back and put whiskey in all these places, we took to the prostitute off of the role, and the drunken gambling places, and stuck it right in our refrigerator.
I seen a picture one time of old John Barleycorn. They call him "the whiskey man." He had his hat setting on the back of his head, and if he wasn't a horrible looking scarecrow. They painted him up now; they put him in bumpers; but he's still old John Barleycorn, the same old fellow. That's exactly right. It's like trying to paint a hog up, and wash him up, and try to make a good different creature out of him; he will go through the wallow just as hard as he can go, till you get his nature changed.
L-29 So the thing that men and women has got to do now, is get their nature changed. God changes a man's makeup, changes his nature, makes him a new creature in Christ. I know you believe that.
Now, but I never come here to preach, though I--I--to tell you my life story. But just to think of how that those days, how that was...
I remember setting in school. I went to school one complete year without a shirt on. I didn't even have a shirt to my name. Mrs. Watham, a rich woman, she's in glory today, a Catholic woman, yet if... Oh, I know she was a Christian. And she give me a coat. And I wore that coat. I did... I had on an--an old pair of tennis shoes, and my feet was... The tops of them was out, and my toes stuck up like turtle heads out of a pond when--to see my feet sticking up. That snow coming down, and coming to school, I'd set there, and this big old coat on.
L-30 It come spring of the year. And I remember one day, awful warm, and the perspiration just a running down my face. I thought, "My, it's hot." Mrs. Temple, and she might be setting present for all I know; she doesn't live too far from here. If she is, God bless you, mother Temple. She's been a lot to my life.
All right. What I'm going to say here... I called, maybe see if she's here, if you are, I still love you, sister. She said, "William." I had my coat collar buttoned up like this. She said, "William, aren't you hot with that coat on?" The kiddies begin to say, you know, and it didn't smell so very good, I suppose, wearing it all winter. And said, "Aren't--aren't you hot with that coat on?"
I said, "No, ma'am, I'm--I'm a little bit cold." Cold... I couldn't take that coat off; I didn't have no shirt on.
So she said, "Well, sonny, you must be taking a cold, William." She said, "You better come over to the stove."
So she built up the fire, set me down there. And I'd set there, and the perspiration just a pouring off of me. She said, "Aren't--aren't you warm enough to take that coat off yet, William?"
I said, "No, ma'am, Mrs. Temple. I'm still cold." I couldn't take it off; I didn't have no shirt on.
So she said, "Well, I believe you are sick. I'd better send you home." And she sent me home thinking that I was taking a cold, but I just didn't have on any shirt. I couldn't take it off.
L-31 And I went to school with mama's shoe on one side, and papa's on the other one. That's exactly right, a boot-n-gegger, if you know what I am talking about. Like a... And when great big boys, just because of Satan and sin...
And when we were eating, I remember, we couldn't eat with the rest of the kiddies. They'd all have sandwiches, the light bread. You remember when used to have the old loaf bread that you'd get it and save the--the tags off the back of it, for certain things, safety razors and so forth? And I remember when they used to have that, and the women, and most baked their bread. We couldn't do that. We couldn't afford it.
And they'd all take sandwiches, and make little sandwiches. But brother and I couldn't do that. We had to... We had a little half a gallon molasses bucket, about like that. And in there, we had a little jar, and it'd be full of greens, the next one full of beans, two pieces of corn bread, and two spoons. We'd slip off. We was ashamed to eat before the other children who had cakes, and cookies, and things.
L-32 And we would go down next to the river, and set down there, and set this out on the log, and--and--and set there and eat, both of us. We... I'd take a bite out of the--out of the little jar of beans, and brother'd take a bite. Then we'd take a bite out of the greens. Not to much, we had to make it, divvy it up between us. And two pieces of corn bread, hoe cake corn bread that mom'd baked for breakfast, and cut in little slices like that, just had to go a long with the rest of the kids.
Oh, I remember one time around Christmas time. I hate to get into these things. But around Christmas time, we had a Christmas tree. And the kids down at school would take and cut little white strips of paper, and blue ones, and green ones, and made little chains, you, know, how they used to do in school. And we took ours home. So mama thought... She went back out in the field, we did, and cut a little Christmas tree about like that.
L-33 And papa went down. And he'd got some popcorn they'd been raising. And they--they popped the corn and made strings, and mom strung it up with a--a needle and thread to put around the--the Christmas tree where we was going to have a Christmas tree. We were hanging up our stockings on Christmas night, and next morning maybe have an orange, and three pieces of candy laying out, and a little piece of paper laying to one side, maybe little bitty pieces of candy.
And if we had an orange, and a piece of candy, and a apple, oh, what a great fellow Santa Claus was to come bring that to us. How happy we was. My, we'd eat those oranges and dry the peeling and then eat the peeling. Many times I packed peeling in my pocket for week after week and eat those orange peelings. Yeah, we wasted nothing of it.
L-34 And I remember very well one time when mama had popped some corn. She had a--another little half a gallon syrup bucket and she'd put that full of popcorn. And my brother that's in glory today, when we took it down, set it in the old cloak room, country school. And I got to setting back there, and I thought, "Oh, what I would..." That was a some--what we call a rarity, you know. My, it's something very rare. And I thought, "Wonder if I could just before dinner time get a good handful of that (See?), before dinner time comes." So I figured it all up, so I raised up my hand, asked the teacher, "May I be excused?"
L-35 And so we... I went out to the cloak room; I opened up this bucket, reached down in there and got a great big handful of that corn. Put the bucket back, went around, the bucket lid, rather, went back and stood behind the old chimney back there, and eat that popcorn. Oh, it was good. I come back in and wipe my mouth real good, and my hands, you know, so my brother wouldn't notice it.
So when dinner time come, we went out, picked up our bucket, and went out to eat. After we'd... We wanted to eat the popcorn first, you know, 'cause that was better than what we had. So we opened up the bucket, and about a third of it was gone. So my brother looked around; he said, "Say," he said, "something's happened to that popcorn."
I said, "Sure has." I--I knowed what had happened.
L-36 You know, friends, not long ago I come up from Houston; I was having a meeting there. And I'd been so tired. I--I just couldn't... I--I just pass out. I stayed eight days and nights without leaving the platform. I said, "I will pray for everybody comes." And I stayed there, and praying in the line till I was so unconscious, they packed me to the car. And I... They'd...
I would lay against the pulpit and sleep a little, and then I'd wake up, the prayer line still waiting. I don't know where it was out there on the street, I just--just keep on praying for one, the other. Then they'd bring me something; I'd eat a little bit, and then maybe pray till I'd get so sleepy I'd lean against the pulpit like that, for hours after hours. I'd gotten so worn, they tried to put me to bed, and I couldn't go to bed. Then I couldn't sleep.
L-37 I started home. And I never will forget, on the road home I--I was driving along and I'd wake up. I had an old Ford. That has been about five years ago. And it was backslid, and it was... Well, you know, what I mean, it was all right, it--it just been treated pretty heavy. And so, I didn't have any side in the thing where I beat my leg against it trying to keep awake, and pulled all the hairs till I don't have hair, yet on the back of my hand, trying to keep awake, praying for the sick, trying to keep awake to--to make my lines go on.
I'd found somebody that loved me, somebody who loved me, and I loved them. And I was trying to minister my heart out to them. And I remember waking up. I'd... And the cars would be blowing, and I'd be asleep over on the other side of the road. And after while, the funny part of it, I woke up. I'd stopped. I couldn't get to myself. And I had my hands out the window. And I was in a cow pasture; I had my hands out the window, saying, "Only believe, sister, that's the only thing you have to do. Just believe." And I--I said, "What's the matter with me?"
I--I got out. I done run off the road out into a cow pasture, asleep on the road. And I come home. And oh, my, when I got home, and there they was. And before, we kept the people from the house, and there they was lined up there, a hundred fifty, two hundred of them setting before the place.
L-38 Wife... I'd prayed for as many as I possibly could, it was coming long toward daylight. And I heard her. Now, if there's many of these people might be here today. She got me to bed, and I was getting quiet. I'd wake up, and after awhile I would have my arm around a pillow, standing out in the floor, saying, "Now, who's next? Now, if you'll just believe. Jesus Christ said if I could get the people to believe," praying with my pillow in my arms.
L-39 And wife just set down and cry. She's thirty-two years old, turned snow-white almost. If there's any credit goes to the Branham family, give it to my wife. She's the one deserves it, not me. And standing there, I remember, she...
I'd just got asleep. I heard the rattling of a noise, and it was an old Chevrolet, drove all the way from up here in Ohio had come down. A little baby, crying, hadn't ceased for days, the doctor didn't know what was the matter with it. And I heard the wife say, "Now, if you'll just sit down." It was long about--about, I guess around three or four o'clock in the morning. Said, "If you will just set down," said, "I will--I will fix you something to eat."
Said, "No, we've had breakfast, Sister Branham, but the only thing that... we just thought..."
Said, "Well, we just got him to sleep." Said, "Don't wake him up right now."
And I was laying in there. And I hear that little baby going just like, you know, wheeze and funny noise, crying, till he just couldn't cry no more. Do you think I could sleep and that little thing laying in there, and think maybe a prayer would help it? I couldn't do it.
L-40 I staggered out into the room. And she started crying, went over and set down. And I said, "Mother, do you believe?" And she... We have two little rooms where we was living. And she laid the baby up there on the table. And I said, "Let's kneel around the table." And we started praying.
While we were yet praying, the little baby quit crying. About an hour from then, they left. It was cooing and laughing to its mother. Went away, it was a little different.
She said, "Before the crowds get gathered in, let me take you somewhere." So we got out in the car and went somewhere, up to Green's Mill, where I seen the vision, where I was commissioned at. We came back down along the evening. We passed by this old school house, where it used to stand. I stopped there.
I remember the old well that I used to drink from. And the kiddies was... Little girl, my little Rebekah was picking some violets. She was just about a year old, or something, year an a half. And she was picking some violets out there, playing. And I went and drink from this old well. I thought, as David said, if he could just drink from that well.
L-41 I went and leaned my arms over against the old wooden fence. I looked across there; I looked up across the field where I used to play. I remember out there how one day, down by the first, 1917, when a big snow come on the ground, there I remember all the boys with sleds out riding. They could ride. Brother and I didn't have no sled.
I seen the old hill where we used to coast down. I didn't have no sled. You know what we used for a sled? We went down in the old country dump pile down there and got an old dish pan. And I set down; we would set down in that dish pan, put our legs around one another. There's sleet on top the ground. Many of you remember the 1917 snow. And I'd set down in this dish pan; we'd put our arms around on another, down the hill we go, around, and around, and around in a dish pan. We wasn't as much class as the rest of them, but we were riding just the same. So what difference did it make?
L-42 We were riding down the hill in this old dish pan. And after while, the bottom come out of it. I went and got me a log then, and we got on a log. And I remember coming down just above the hill. We had a little old log I'd chopped with a axe, the front of it. And we'd get down through there.
And there was a boy... That was the time of the World War I. Everybody wore a uniform that was able to put on one. And a boy friend of mine named Lloyd Ford, he used to sell these a pathfinders, and so he--he got him a--a boy scout suit. And oh, how I longed for a boy scout suit. My. And I'd look at him in that boy scout suit. He'd wear it to school, and how I liked that. I made an agreement with him; I said, "Lloyd, when you wear that thing out, would you give it to me?"
He said, "Sure, I will give it to you, Billy."
I said, "All right."
Well, on and on it went. And after while he quit wearing it. And I asked him about it. He said, "I will see what happened to it."
Well, the thing had been destroyed. The only thing he could find was one legging. So I asked him to bring me that. So he brought it to me.
L-43 And I remember riding down the hill one day. I wanted to wear that legging so bad, I didn't know what to do. Coming down the hill one day, I had that legging stuffed in my coat. And I hit the bottom of the hill, and I raised up. And I said, "Oh, I hurt my leg." I hadn't. I said, "Oh, my leg." I said, "It just reminds me, you know, I've got one of my leggings to my boy scout suit." I put that legging on. That was an excuse, you know. Here I was walking along with one legging on, you know.
And I went to the blackboard. You remember how you used to stand up at the old country schools, the blackboard, you know? Well, I got up that day, I put this leg, the one that didn't have the legging, I already had it figured out, next to the board. And I put this other legging like that, so they couldn't tell I just had on one. I stood sideways like this, working the problems, see if everybody was watching that one legging.
All the kiddies got to laughing at me, and making fun of me and everything like that. And I started crying; teacher made me go home. There was my legging, you know.
And I always wanted to be a soldier. When I got old enough to go in the army... Of course, there was no war then. I remember when I was seventeen I signed up for the navy. My mother taken that out of me when I got home. Then when the next war come, why, they wouldn't have me.
L-44 But you know what? I finally did join the Army. You may not see my uniform; it's on the inside. I joined the Christian ranks of Jesus Christ to be a soldier of the cross. How thankful I am to wear that uniform this afternoon that represents heaven, to join with the rest of you.
I was standing there looking at that, and thinking about those things as I was leaning across the fence. And I begin to think of brother, how I took that handful of popcorn from him. When we used to put our hands on one another's shoulders, stand there, and the flag would go up; the teacher, with that great big pointer, point, making us get in line. We'd stand tramping like that, go into the school.
And I thought, "Well, look, you know, I used to remember Ralph Field. What happened to him?" Yep, he's gone. And I said, "There was Howard Higgins." Yep, he used to stand by me. What's happened to him? He got blowed up down at Colgate. I said, "Yes, that's--that's right."
L-45 I remember the different ones of what had happened to them. I said, "Now, my brother Edward that stood right behind me and put his hand on my shoulder, the one I took the popcorn from," I said, "what happened to him?"
Years ago, he died calling for me, said, "Tell Billy..." I wasn't a Christian yet, said, "Tell Billy, that I love him and someday I will meet him in heaven." I was... And I remember when the ranger rode out on the prairies and I climbed out of my saddle. Said, "Is your name Branham?"
I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "William?"
And I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "I have a message for you." And he handed it over to me, and I read the telegram: "Your brother, Edward, died last night." Hmm. All that begin to renew. And I was standing there looking across the fence, I could see that handful of popcorn.
Don't ever do nothing wrong, it'll come back to you someday, no matter how little it is.
L-46 I stood there; tears begin to run down my cheek; I thought, "God, I'd give the world, I'd give the rest of my mortal life, if You'll let me take that handful of popcorn and walk up to the door, and say, 'Edward, buddy, here's that handful of popcorn I cheated you out of that day.'" How I would give anything if I could've took it to him. But he's gone.
I looked up across the field where the old house used to stand up there. Why, there's a housing project. The spring is dry and gone.
I used to think of when we used to... We had an old piece of a mirror that we drove nails around it in a tree, and a little old wash bench. When dad used come in there, about a hundred and sixty pounds, about five foot seven or eight inches tall. Man? Oh, my, a logger, muscles hanging on him like that. I'd see him roll them sleeves up (that old blue shirt, old hickory shirt mom made herself, for him), rolled it up like that. When he would go to wash, and the muscles swelling back and forth, I'd stand off, I'd say, "That's my dad. That's my dad. He will live a hundred years. That's my daddy. When I am an old man, I will still be patting my daddy with big muscles." See? He died at fifty-two. Here we have no continuing city, but we seek One to come.
L-47 I knowed the old house there, was chinked up, and what a great house it was: torn and gone, a housing project. Where's that big fine bunch of boys? Nearly every one of them is gone.
I thought of Rollin Halloway, a friend of mine. He used to stand there, little red-headed fellow, enough temper to fight a buzz saw, died in prison. He shot a man in a crap game.
I looked over here to Wilmer, thought what become of... Wilmer...?... I thought, "What happened to him?" Yes, that's right. What happened to him? He got into a knife fight with a fellow, and he cut his throat with a knife.
I looked back over here and I seen... thought of Willis...?... "What happened to you, Willis?" Yeah, I seen what happened to him, how he went out in a disease. It stripped his body.
L-48 I looked down yonder and seen each one. And I seem them all, and I thought, "O God, here I am left alone. Who am I? Where are they at?" The first thing you know, standing there, I was screaming out to the top of my voice, "O God, let the Angels of God come, get this poor tired bulk, pack me away from here. This world is not my home any longer."
I just come out of that meeting where I'd been mentally tore up for eight days and nights at the platform; I was shaking. And all those things running over. I thought, "Here we have no continuing city, but we're seeking One to come now." I thought, "O God." Wife come put her arm around me, Said, "Now look, honey, you come out here to rest, and here you are standing here crying like a baby. Don't do that."
I said, "Sweetheart, if you knew what was traveling through my heart and mind... I remember standing right here at that house when little Sharon took sick." [Hebrews 13:10-14]
L-49 She said, "Now, don't think about that." I've got a real wife. And she called me away and picked up the baby and set it around my shoulders, and we went out to the car and drove away.
How, thinking of things. Sometimes you look, say, "Oh, Brother Branham, I bet..." You think, you don't know what's behind here brother. You don't know how many times this poor heart has been mashed, and crushed, and broke, and twisted. You don't understand it. That's right. It looks like a flowery bed of ease, but don't you think that Satan would let me get by like that?
It'd take a week to stand here and tell you what's all the things happened, how I've been right down to the edge of death's door, then God would spare me. How Satan would set snares everywhere, and he's still got them set, going right down to the door. But he will not be able to take me till God's finished with me. Then I want to go when He's finished.
When I preach my last sermon, the Bible's closed for it's last time on the pulpit, my last prayer has been offered up to God, I can't do no more for Him, then I want Him to come, take me away. That's right.
L-50 As a boy, I had a very peculiar thing happen as a little lad. I was called one day after school, about seven years old, by an Angel, which told me never to drink, or to smoke, or to defile my body.
And I--I--I don't mean this to you sisters now (You see?), but if there ever was a woman hater, I was one of them. My, I seen how they come when my daddy run that bootleg place. And I'd see women come there, young women, with somebody else's husband. And the way they would carry on, I said, "If that's the way it is, I wouldn't have one of the varmints if they would law me to one of them." That's right. I... That's true, I thought it. I even...
The only respect I had for any woman was my mother. And that's right, and I knowed she was a lady. I seen her set on the door step with the babies in her arms, and cry, and cry, and cry because she was locked out of the house.
L-51 When my dad, which was a real man when he was sober, but being drinking, how... what he would do. And I had a tough life to come up in.
I thought, "No, I won't have..." I didn't... When I was even seventeen, eighteen years old, I'd pass down the street. And if I seen a girl that I...?... to, I thought she was going to speak, not because... I just didn't want to have nothing to do with it, wasn't twisting myself up with them. I went on the other side of the street. I didn't have nothing at all to do with it all. So I said, "I will..."
Now, here was my thoughts, "When I get to be of age, when my mother is well, the boys are settled down, and everything, and I can get enough money somewhere to help take care of my mother, I am going to Colorado, or to Washington State, or Canada, and I'm going to be a trapper. I'm going to get me a bunch of dogs; I'm going to get me a bunch of traps, and I'm going to get my rifle, and I'll live there until I die, right in the--the mountains; trapping.
L-52 My grandfather was a hunter, on my mother's side. And he... I was natured after him. And so, I said, "I just... That's what I am going to do." I had it in my mind. I said, "There isn't going to be any women connected in it at all." So, isn't it funny how you can change your mind? Strange.
One day there was there was... As a boy, there was a little girl come along, and you know, teeth like pearls, eyes like a dove, neck like a swan, prettiest thing you ever seen. She looked at me, said, "How do you do, Billy?" That was it. Another...
She knew another boy, friend of mine; he told me, said, "Oh, she likes you."
I said, "Well, I've kind of made a promise, you know." Well, I was willing to give in.
L-53 And so he said, "I tell you; I will take my girlfriend, and you take your girlfriend," and said, "we'll take them riding in my dad's old Ford," said, "if I can get the thing started." Said, "How much money can you rake up?"
I said, "I don't know." So we raked up enough to get two gallon of gasoline. We had about forty cents between us.
He said, "Now, we got to get them something, some soft drinks, or ice cream, or something."
So I said, "Well, you do the driving of the Ford, and I will do the buying." So I--I put the forty cents in my pocket. So He--he--he took... He was going to drive the Ford. And we got our old Ford and jacked the back wheel up, you know. And you know how you used to have to spin it and crank? My, my. We got her started, and down the road we went, and got our girls.
Well, I set in the back seat, you know. And my, I looked over her; I thought, "You know, maybe they're not all that way." But... I was changing my mind. So she'd look over, she said, "It's pretty tonight, isn't it?"
I said, "Yes, ma'am."
L-54 So we stopped at a little place, just about a square from where I live right now, a little old place called... a little old drive-in of affair. So I said... I... Jimmy Poole and I, we had it all made up what we was going to say, you know. And I--I said, "Jimmy, I'm kind of thirsty." And I said, "Don't you think we ought to stop?"
And he said, "Yes." And so we pulled in. So he says; he said, "I will go get it." And he didn't even have a dime, and I had his money, and I said, "Never mind, Jimmy. Just a minute, I will go get it." See?
So he and I go. Sandwich for--for a nickel, great big baloney sandwich for a nickel, you know, and got onion and everything on it. So we--we come back out. And I had some Cokes, you know. And oh, was we--was we somebody then. We set there and drink these Cokes, you know, and eat these baloney sandwiches, the girls and all of us; we talked, you know.
And so, then I went back to take the Cokes back, and it was just about the time that girls begin to act smart, begin to come smart alecks, smoking cigarettes. When I come back out, to my surprise my little queen was smoking a cigarette. Well, I've always had my opinion of a woman who'd smoke a cigarette, and I haven't changed it yet. It's the lowest thing she ever done. That's right. It's just as bad as drinking.
L-55 Go ahead, I see your faces getting red. But let me tell you something, let me tell... Mama... It'll be good for you; it'll help you. Now, don't get up, I will know, and the rest of them will know you're guilty.
Look, let me tell you. Mama used to tell me... When I was a kid, we had to... we... To get our grease we'd have to boil meat skins in a pan, you know. And we'd have to take a lot of medicine, and every Saturday night, a bath in an old cedar tub, and hold our nose and take castor oil: every Saturday night. I can't even stand the thoughts of the thing now.
And I used to hold my nose and gag; I said, "Oh, mama, please, don't. Please don't. Please don't. That big old spoon that old greasy looking stuff. Oh, mama, please don't, it makes me so sick."
L-56 She said, "If it don't make you sick, it don't do you any good." Maybe this will help you some too, make you right good and sick and you'll stop it then. That's right. All right. She said...
And I--I remember, here set my little girl setting there smoking a cigarette. Oh, my. I kind of... She sure dropped in my estimation then. I said... Now, she said... Begin to blow smoke like that, you know. And I thought, "If the good Lord wanted you to smoke He'd have put a smoke stack on you. See?" And I looked over at her like that, "Uh-huh."
Looked in front, here was Jim's girl setting there doing the same thing. Well, Jim smoked himself. So I looked around.
She said, "Will you--will you have a cigarette, Billy?"
I said, "No, ma'am, thank you. I don't smoke."
She said, "You don't smoke?" Said, "Now, you just got through telling me that you didn't dance."
I said, "No, ma'am."
Said, "That--that you don't smoke?"
And she said, "Well, what do you like to do?"
I said, "I like to go fishing. I like to hunt." That didn't interest her.
So she--she said, "Well, you big sissy."
L-57 A sissy? My daddy had called me that one time, 'cause I wouldn't take a drink of whiskey. And I wanted to, but there was Something wouldn't let me. So, I--I said, "What was that?"
And she said, "You're a big sissy."
And I said, "Give me them cigarettes."
And I took that cigarette just as intention to smoke it as I am to finish preaching this service this afternoon. I took it in my hand, trembling like that. I said, "Give me the--the material with it." And--and she give me the thing that you light it with, you know. And I got it all fixed like that, and I started to put it in my mouth, shaking like that, and I heard Something going, "Whew." And I stopped, and I looked around; I thought, "Now that wasn't right?"
She said, "What's the matter?"
I said, "Nothing, nothing." I said, I--I'm--I just trying to light it." And I--I started up to my mouth again.
You heard me tell my story the other night, how that whirl in the bush back there. There it was repeating again, "Whew." I dropped the cigarette; I started crying.
She said, "Now I know you are a sissy."
L-58 I was... Closed that little old tin door on the Ford, and started up the road crying. Jim drove along in front, said, "Come on, get in, Bill." I said, "Nope, no."
I started walking up the road; she said, "Why, Billy," she said, "you great big sissy, you." Said, "I thought you was a man."
I said, "I thought I was too." And I just went on up the road like that; walking.
I cut across the fields, went up there and set down in the field, and I said, "Oh, if there was some way that I could die here. Nobody wants me. I'm not fit for nobody." I said, "And the boys, they all like to go to dances and big times, and the girls like to smoke cigarettes, and here I am a slave of circumstance. What--what I--what's the use for me in life? What do I live for?" And I sat there in that field and cried till nearly daylight. On down...
L-59 I have to hurry to get out of here in time that I promised you, just skipping the high places.
I guess you wondered how I ever got married if I was that bashful; backwards. I...
Finally I met a girl was my boys' mother. If there ever was an angel, that was her. I love her yet. She was a lovely girl. I met her; she was going to church. I looked at her, there was something different from anyone else. I knowed nothing about Christianity; I was already about twenty-one years old. I looked at her; she seemed to be every speck of a lady, the way she carried herself, and the respect she had. She was going to a Baptist church.
And I--I went out with her and started going with her. And I was the... Kinda went to work for the public utilities of Indiana. And I--I'd gotten some more little money and I'd bought me an old car, and I thought, "Well, that was the real opportunity."
L-60 But her father was the President of the Brotherhood on the Pennsylvania Railroader. Many of you railroaders here might know him, Charlie Brumbach, just recently went to glory. And a very...He had a good job. And he made about five hundred dollars a month. I was making about twenty cents an hour in a ditch, digging. And me go with a girl like that, I thought, "Uh-oh, something wrong here."
So I went with her for awhile, and I seen that she was every bit of a lady. And I knowed I had to make my choice now. I--I couldn't let--take that girl's time. I loved her too much for that, that I couldn't take her time, to me, because it wouldn't be right to--to spoil her life like that. It... I thought enough of her if I...
L-61 As poor as I was, and I didn't have no dad at that time and so forth, and ten children to take care of, and... Dad left her nine, ten, with myself. And I thought, "How, then would I--would I ever be able to support someone like that?" And I thought, "I've got to make up my mind. I've--I've got to either ask her... to marry her, or I've got to let her go, and let some good boy that'll take a hold and she'll go with him, and marry her, and make her a good home and everything, and she'd be happy...
And along in that time, I begin to study. And I just... While I was going with her I had come to Christ and had found Him as my Saviour, and was studying in the ministry, the Baptist church. Then, a little... an old... Time kept going on and I was ordained then as a local elder, the exhorter, then they had my ministerial license. And I thought, "Maybe, if I'd go to preaching altogether, could I make her a living?"
L-62 So one day, I thought, "I--I believe..." Made up my mind, I was going to ask her if she... [] how was I going to do it. That was the big problem, how was I going to ask her to marry me? So I said, "Well, I will ask her tonight."
Well, I'd go up, you know and I'd talk, and when I'd get right down to that spot, I--I just wilt away. I couldn't do it. I couldn't ask her to marry me; there's too many circumstances there. And I said... So I thought, "Well, how in the world will I ever get--get it over to her? Maybe I could ask somebody else to ask her if she would marry me. You see?" I thought, "That wouldn't be just exactly right. She might refuse me on them terms."
L-63 So you know how I done it? I wrote her a letter and asked her if she would. So I wrote a letter. And now it wasn't "Dear Miss..." you know, it had a little more than that. It wasn't a business letter, yet it was in one way. But I wrote and told her how much I thought of her, and asked her if--if she would--she would marry me.
And then I thought I'll just hand it to her some night. And I thought, "No, I believe I will put it in the mail." So I put me a stamp on it, and I was going to work, and I stuck it in the mail box. I was to meet her on Wednesday, and that was on a Monday morning. So I wrote the letter, and put in the mailbox, went on to work.
L-64 And all that week I was waiting for Wednesday to come to go get my girlfriend. We was going to church. So that night, I remember, when I started up towards the place to where her people lived... They lived in a lovely big home up there. And I thought, "And here I lived. Oh, my. And I thought... Well, I--I drove up in front. And I thought...
I knowed better than to blow the horn. I--I know her mother and dad would both be out on me. And I think that's right. That's cheap for you boys to go up blow the horn for the girl to come out. If you don't think enough of her to go in and talk to her, and bring her out, and talk to her mother and dad, you ain't--you oughtn't to be with her anyhow. That's right. Go, be a man.
So I walked up on the door, and I thought, "I will stay outside tonight." And I happened to get to thinking.
L-65 Now, her father was, he--he was one of the finest men; and her mother is a good woman, and I'm not too sure, she might be setting here this afternoon. See? We don't live far from here. And if I say anything wrong, now Mrs. Brumbach, I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but I just want to tell this truth. You see? So if...
So I remember we were--we were... I went up on the porch.
Her mother, at that time... She likes me now, but she didn't care to much about me. And she was raised in one of those society churches, you know, that stands up, "Uh-huh," the doxology and oh, my. You know all that there is going on. Well, that was just a little bit too much; I couldn't digest that. So I... She thought that I was a just a little bit narrow-minded, I guess.
L-66 So I thought now, happened to go to thinking, "What..." before I got to the house, "what if her mother happened to get a hold of that letter and read it, then what would happen?" Oh, my. And you know the devil's there to make me believe that she got the letter. So I said, "Oh, what will I do if--if--if she got that letter?" Hmm.
I thought, "You know what the best thing for me to do? Instead of ringing the doorbell tonight, I believe I will knock on the door and just leave my Ford set with the door open (See?), 'cause I was going to get away from there."
And I could just hear her say, "William Branham..." Brother, daddy, who was a fine Dutchman. And so I--I went up to the door, and I knocked on the door; and the first thing you know, here come Hope to the door. Her name was Hope. And so I... She come to the door, she said, "He-hello, Billy."
And I said, "Evening."
She said, "Won't you come in?"
I thought, "Oh, oh, she'd get me in there where your mother is at now, and you both been reading that letter. No."
I said, "Thank you. It's very warm," I said, "I will just set on the porch."
L-67 She said, "Oh, step in." Said, "Mother and dad wants to see you." And oh, my. I knew then it was up. I thought, "Here it is."
"Won't you step in?"
And I said, "Well, hmm." I thought, "Oh, my, I know it's over now." So I said, "Thank you."
I stepped in, took my hat off, and stood at the door. She said, "Come on out in the kitchen where mother and dad is," said, "I will be ready just in a few minutes."
And I thought, "Oh..." I walked out, I said, "How do you do, Mr. Brumbach. How do you do, Mrs. Brumbach?"
Said, "Hello, Billy. Won't you come out and have a glass of ice tea?"
I said, "Thank you," I said, "I will--I will sit in here if you don't mind."
"No, come out and set down."
L-68 I thought, "Oh, my." My heart was just a jumping as hard as it could. In a few minutes I--I begin to see then. They never mentioned it; they was talking about something else. I thought, "She never got the letter. It's all right." Well, then I thought...
Now, the next thing, we better get to church. And so that night, Hope said, "Let's walk down to the church."
And I said, "Oh, oh."
So that night we walked on down to the church and went in. I never did hear nothing Dr. Davis said; He was preaching a good sermon. But I was sitting there wondering; I thought, "Boy, she got that letter. The reason she wanted me to walk is because she is going to tell me this is my last night. See? I know it. And I was setting there looking at her. I thought "Oh, I hate to give her up. My, but I guess she's right because I couldn't--I couldn't make her a living like her daddy could, and there it is." And I said, "She's got that letter."
L-69 And oh, my, I never heard nothing the preacher said. I just set there wondering. And oh, I look at her, and she looked more beautiful than she ever did, and I knowed she was every whit a lady. And I thought the woman that... She doesn't smoke; she doesn't go to dances; she doesn't have... She doesn't use any kind of bad talk. She's just--she's just an angel. And I thought, "My, that was her, but I--I guess it's all over now."
So after church was over, I started going home, you know, walking along; she was walking along. And I was looking up, when we'd pass under the trees, and the moonlight come down upon her black hair and her brown eyes. I thought, "Oh, my, isn't she pretty?" Walking along. I thought...
Well, we begin to get kind of close to the house, and I got brave. I thought, "The letter hung up the box; none of them got it. See?" I was just feeling pretty good, you know. I said, "Nobody got that letter, so I'm all right. Say..." going on like that.
L-70 And she was talking, you know. And I reached over and took a hold of her arm, you know, was walking along. Oh, my. And I thought, "I--I will have a little more grace. That letter, I hope it did hang up, and there wasn't nothing happened to it." And I was done made up my mind then that if she knowed anything about it, she'd done said something about it."
So we was getting pretty close to the home; directly she looked down to me; she said, "Billy?"
And I said, "Yes."
She said, "I--I got your letter."
Oh, I felt something move up and go down, you know, I thought... I said, "You did?"
She said, "Uh-huh." Just kept on walking, never said a word.
I thought, "Woman, say something before I faint. Do something now. I--I--I can't set like this all the time." We was getting too close to the house. She never said a word. I thought, "Well, I--I... Say something."
L-71 She just... You know how woman can keep you. Excuse me. No, no, I mean--I mean, you know what I mean. So, never said a word, just walked along, you know, looking along up towards the moon and the stars. Oh, my, such suspense, and I said, "Did you read it?"
She said, "Uh-huh," kept walking on. That was all I could get out of her.
Well, I thought, "My, my, now what?" I said, "Did you appreciate it?"
She said, "Uh-huh." Uh-huh, that was all I could get out of her, just "Uh-huh."
Well, we got married. So there you are. We--we got married.
And I never will forget; she asked me just before we was... when we was... before I got her a ring. And I remember, I paid eight dollars for the set.
L-72 And so, I was very happy about it though. My, I remember we drove out there under the tree, and I put that engagement ring on her finger; how happy I was. And had the other one down in my pocket and put me a great big catch pen there so it wouldn't get out. I was keeping her right there, boy. That one, she was going to be mine.
So I went on, you know. And she said, "Billy." Before I put the ring on her finger, she said, "don't you think it would be kind of gentleman-like if you'd ask dad and mother?"
I thought, "Oh, my. Here it goes again." And she said... I said, "Yes." I said, "Look, Hope, I want to tell you something." I said, "Now, when we get married, it's always to be a fifty-fifty, isn't it?"
She said, "That's right." She said, "I will keep my part."
I said, "I will mine." I said, "Let's start it now. See?"
She said, "What do you mean?"
I said, "You ask your mother, and I will ask your daddy." I could get by with her dad, but I didn't know about her mother.
She said, "All right. That's all right."
And I said, "Well, look," I said, "perhaps you let me ask your dad first." 'Cause I knowed if her dad said so, I had that much of a promise (See?), and I could hold to that.
So I remember she said, "Well, you better ask him tonight."
And I thought, "Oh, kind of quick, but I guess I better."
L-73 So that night we walked in, and he was setting at his desk, typing out something. And I set there. And she kept nodding her head to me, you know. See, it's nine o'clock, time... I had to go home at nine o'clock. And I thought, "It's late." So I got up and I started to the door, and she looked at me kind of strange, why didn't I ask her daddy?
[Brother Branham sighs--Ed.] I done like that, and she knowed what I meant. And her mother sitting back there, doing writing, or doing something. I thought, "Oh, my, I can't ask him right here; it'd be asking them both. Then they'd have it out right here, and them I just--I'd be left blank."
L-74 So I walked to the door, and she walked over to the door with me. And--and I said, "I will come up Wednesday for church?"
And she said, "Uh-huh," and she just kept squeezing my hand.
And she pointed to her dad. I said, "Oh, I couldn't do that." I waited a little bit, I said, "Well, I got to."
I said, "Mm [Brother Branham clears his throat loudly.--Ed.] Mr.--Mr. Brumbach?"
He was typing along, you know, he said, "Yes!"
I said, "Could I speak to you out here just a minute?"
He said, "Yes, Bill, why? What do you want?"
I said, "Could I talk to you out here just a minute, Mr. Brumbach?"
L-75 And he said, "Sure." And he looked over to his wife; his wife looked over at him.
I thought, "Oh..."
So I seen Hope walk over towards her mother, so I walked out on the porch; I got out there. And I--I done got too much nervous shock then, you know. So I said...
He said, "What do you want, Bill?"
And I said, "Sure is warm tonight."
And he said, "Sure is."
And I said, "But, Charlie, it's a pretty night, ain't it?"
Said, "Yes, it is."
I said, "You know, hum, uh..." I said, "I was a..."
L-76 He said, "Yes, you can have her, Bill, you can..." I--I think a lot of him yet today.
I said, "Do you mean that I can...?"
He said, "Yes."
Oh my, took a hold of that big old fat hand of his; I said, "Charlie, look," I said, "you know I am pauper." I said, "Your girl can dress nice and everything, and I have one suit of clothes." I said, "But all my life I've been a vagabond, I've been in search for someone that I thought was a queen, one that I thought was a lady." I said, "I found that in Hope." I said, "I--I can't make her a living like you will, certainly not, Charlie, you make five hundred dollars a month and I'm making about fourteen dollars a week."
L-77 I said, "I got nine down there in the family, some of them beginning to work now," I said, "which will give me a relief. But Charlie, I thought that there was no need in me taking much more of her time. As soon as the other boys get jobs and things can help me with... take care of my mother, I will--I will do everything that I can. I will work, Charlie, as long as there's breath in my body, I will slave and do everything I can, 'cause I really love her. And I will do all that I can to be good to her. I will live true to her; I will do everything I can."
I never forget, the man's gone on now. He put that big arm around me, pulled me up close to him, just about the size of Brother Baxter. He reminds me a lot of him. He pulled me up to me like this; he said, "Billy," he said, "I'd rather you would have her on them grounds, than somebody that would mistreat her, no matter how much money he had." Said, "You'll be more happy." He said, "Happiness does not consist of how much the world's goods you own, but how contented you are with the portion that's allotted to you."
I said, "Thank you, Charlie, thank you."
L-78 She'd asked her mother. And I don't know what happened in there, but anyhow, we got married. So...
When we got married, it was--it was a marvelous little old... I remember we was married down here at Fort Wayne, Indiana; we went home. I didn't even have... You know what, we...
I rented a house for four dollars a month. You can imagine what kind of a house it was: four dollars a month. Someone give us an old folding bed. How many knows what an old folding bed is? My, I seen Brother Ryan put up his hand. He slept on it enough; he ought to know. So he give us an old folding bed, and mama give us a little old iron bedstead little later on. We... First we had two rooms.
And I went down to Sears and Roebuck and got me a--a breakfast set that didn't--was painted. I think it cost us about three or four dollars. And I painted it yellow with a great big green shamrock on each one. And she was laughing at me, I will never forget it, about being an Irishman, painting the shamrock on it, and so forth.
L-79 And we didn't have very much of the worlds goods. I went over to Mr. Weber, a junk dealer, and I bought me a stove for seventy-five cents and it cost me a dollar and a quarter to put new grates in it. I fixed it up; we went to housekeeping. Well, we were happy. We didn't have very much of the world's goods, but we sure had one another, and the love of God was in our heart, and that's all we cared about. And I tell you, that's what really means something now. Yes, sir.
I look around; I'd hear somebody say, "Isn't that a beautiful home?"
L-80 I said, "I don't know." Home is the not the house; it's the order of the house that makes the home. That's what makes home. No matter if it is a shanty, whatever it is, if--if--if the order is right on the inside, and godly, it's more of a home than if you had a palace somewhere. I'd rather live in a shanty and be happy, than to live in a palace and be unhappy. That's right.
So I remember then very well, we went ahead. And after while, God gave us one of the greatest little gifts about a year after we were married. My, poor little boy, which is standing in the back of the building now, he--little Billy Paul, he came into the world.
L-81 And I remember how we'd go on. I was cutting up with her, and I said, "Now look, you know what we are going to call this? I said, "I believe he will be a boy. If it is," I said, "Now, for German..." She was a German, and--and I was an Irishman. And I said, "We will call him Heinren for German, and Michael, Heinren Michael."
She said, "Oh, Bill, my, that's sounds horrible." So I... We went ahead and we was going on like that. And when God brought us the little boy, how happy we were together. Went on, and life went on.
After while John Ryan, back there come into my life. I met him. He asked me to come to Dowagiac one day where--where he lives over there in Dowagiac, Michigan. Said, "Go on a little vacation." We saved our money and everything. And I had about oh, maybe ten or twelve dollars saved up.
L-82 I'm fixing to come to the end of the story now, just in a little bit. I'm know I'm holding you; it's just I got about ten, twelve more minutes to be out on time. But we come to Dowagiac. I've tried to hold myself up and hit the high spots now. Now pray for me.
When I went to Dowagiac with Brother Ryan back there, I went to his home, a little humble home about like I lived in. His wife, but she would sware by him. He had a fine boy. And so they made me very welcome.
And on my road back home, going back home, I come through Mishawaka. And I looked out there, and there was the groups of people swarmed out there, and cars, and Cadillacs, and Fords, and cops trying to keep order around. I thought, "What's going on here?" And I hear them just singing, you know, and going on. My, everybody screaming and hollering. I thought, "Well, is it a funeral, or what's going on?"
L-83 It was in a church house. And I stops and goes in. Come to find out, it was a convention where there was a group of the Pentecostal people was holding a convention over there. And they had to hold it in the north because of the--the--the race conditions they couldn't hold it, and it was an international convention. They was holding it in a big tabernacle at Mishawaka.
So I--I never seen the Pentecost before, so I thought, "Well, believe I will go and see what it looks like. So I walked in, and there they was all clapping their hands [Brother Branham claps his hands--Ed.] like that, and a screaming and a singing. I thought, "What manners, tsk, tsk, tsk, never seen anything like that in my life. What are they all talking about?"
And here was a colored man up there, and he was singing, and he was singing,
I know it was the Blood,
And all the congregation saying:
I know it was the Blood.
And here he'd run down through there and grab somebody up and hug them like that. White, colored and all, saying,
I know it was the Blood for me.
One day when I was lost,
He died upon the cross.
I know it was the Blood for me,
Running up-and-down the aisles. And I thought, "I never seen anything like that in my life." And how... I said... And somebody would jump up and scream and speak in tongues, and I thought, "Say, what is this anyhow?"
And then a preacher got up there, and he got to preaching about the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And it looked like... And his finger was about that long, and he pointed me out right back in the back. He was talking to me. And I thought, "Say, how's that guy know anything about me?" See? And oh, there was hundreds and oh, it was thous--two or three thousand, I guess in the--all together, in the meeting.
L-84 And some group from up here at Chicago, colored group, they come up, called Locust Grove, or Piney Wood, or something like that, a quartet that... I never heard such singing in my life. Why, I thought, "There's one thing you have to say about them people; they're are not ashamed of their religion. That's one thing sure. They're--they're not ashamed of it."
So I thought, "You know, I believe I will come back tonight. And I went out and counted my money. I had just enough to get enough gasoline to come back, and twenty cents left. Well, I knowed how much gasoline it'd take, and I couldn't get a tourist court. So I thought, "I will sleep out there in a cornfield." So I went down and got me twenty cents worth of stale rolls. And I thought, "I can live on them for a couple days, but I want to find out what this is all about." So I went down and got my rolls and put them in the back of my car, and...?... went over.
L-85 Then that night, He said, "I want all ministers," the--the spokesman said, "I want all ministers to come at the platform." There was just about, I guess about a two or three hundred of them at the platform. They were all white, colored, and all setting on the platform. He said, "Now, we haven't got time for you to preach, we just want you to come right down the row, and say who you are, where you are from." When it come my place, I said, "Evangelist, William Branham, Jeffersonville, Indiana," set down. Next, next, next, on like that.
Come to find out, I was the youngest man was there, twenty-three years old then. I was the youngest man at the--at the platform. I didn't know it at that time. The next morning...
Well, then we went on that night. And I want to tell you what happened that night. I set and heard all them ministers preaching that day about, oh, the Deity of Christ, and the great messages about His walk on life, and His sacrifice, and so forth, and all the different things.
L-86 But that night they brought an old colored man out, just a little bit of rim of white hair around the back of his head here, great big, long, felt preachers coat on, one of the old fashion, long flock-tail coats with the velvet collar. Poor old fellow walked out there like this. I thought, "That poor old man. Isn't that a shame?" I said, "Poor old dad." I said, "I guess he's preached a long time." And he stood there.
And I never seen a microphone before. I was a country preacher. So they had the microphones hanging up. It was something new then, you know.
So this old fellow got before there; he said, "Dear children." Uh-oh. He said, "I's gwine to take my text tonight from back in--in Job." Said, "Where was you when I laid the foundation of the world? Declare unto me where these--they're fastened to, so when the morning stars sing together and the sons of God shouted for joy."
L-87 I thought, "That poor old fellow. His preaching days are about finished. He's old." See?
Instead of coming down on the earth with it, like this, brother, he went back yonder about ten million years before the foundation of the world was ever laid; he climbed up into the skies; and he preached about what went on in the skies, the sons of God shouting for joy. He come on down through the dispensations and brought him back on the horizontal rainbow, back here, back over in the Millennium.
And about that time he got all happy. And when he did, he went, "Whoopee," Just jumped up in the air, kicked his heels together, said, "Glory to God," said, "Hallelujah, there's not enough room here for me to preach." And off the platform he walked like that, like a kid.
L-88 I said, "Brother, if it'll make an old man act like that, what would it do for me? I want that. That's what I want. That's what my heart hungers for, if it'll make an old man act like that." I want..." That's what I wanted. I said, "Oh, my, them people's got something."
That night I went out in the cornfield; I thought, "I better press my trousers." So I took the two seats of my old Ford, and put them together, laid my trousers back and forth like this, and put the seats down to press them, laid down in some grass over at the side of the field out here somewhere in Indiana, out here.
L-89 And I laid there under that little old cherry tree that night. And I prayed, "God, somehow or another, give me favor with them people. That's what I want. Baptist or no Baptist, that's what I want. That's what my hungry heart feeling for. That's what it's reaching for. There's a people that I've wanted to see all my life."
Next morning I went down. Nobody knowed me, you know. So I put on my little old seersucker trousers, and put a t-shirt on. Nobody knowed I was a preacher, so I went down. And I set down. And when I set down, here come a colored brother up and set down the side of me; and over here set a lady. And I--I set down there.
L-90 And when I got up that morning they was playing the music and everything. And there was a brother, his daughter come out and played a trumpet. Whitherspoon, I believe was his name. And he... That girl played the most beautiful on "Blue Galilee" that I--I sat there and cried like a baby. And I was setting there.
Then up to the platform come a minister by the name of Kurtz. He said, "Last night at the platform, the youngest minister we had here was an evangelist by the name of William Branham," said, "from Jeffersonville, Indiana." Said, "We want him to speak this morning."
Oh, my. My congregation... And I thought, "And seersucker trousers and t-shirt..." So I just hunkered down real low like this, you know. In a few minutes... He waited a few minutes; he got to the microphone again, he said, "If there's anybody here knows where William Branham from Jeffersonville, an evangelist, was on the platform last night, we want him, this morning, to bring the message this morning. Tell him to come to the platform."
L-91 I scooted down real low, you know, like way down low. I thought, "Seersucker trousers, you know, and t-shirt." So I got real low. And I didn't want to get up before them people anyhow. They had something that I didn't know nothing about, so I just set real still.
Directly, that colored man looked around me, said, "Say, you know him?" Oh, oh. Something had to happen. And I didn't... I knowed... I didn't want to lie to the man. I said, "Look, fellow, listen, I want to tell you something." I said, "I'm he. See?"
He said, "I thought you was getting down there kind of low about something."
And I said, "Well, look," I said, "are you a minister?"
Said, "Yes, sir." I said...
He said, "Go on up there, fellow."
L-92 And I said, "No--no--no--no, look, look." I said, "I want to tell you something." I said, "I--I--I've got on these seersucker trousers and this t-shirt," I said, "I don't want to get up there."
Said, "Them people don't care what you dress like, man. Get on up there."
And I said, "No--no, thank you, sir."
And somebody said, "Has anybody ever found Rev. Branham?"
He said, "Here he is. Here he is. Here he is."
L-93 Oh, my. I got up, and my ears red, you know. And I had my Bible under my arm, and I walked up to the platform kind of sheepish looking, you know, and scared to death. I walked up; I thought, "Oh, my, last night I was praying all night to give me favor, now God's going to let me get up before them. If I ain't going to get up then how am I to get favor?" So I got up.
Not a thing on my mind; I was scared and trembling. I never... didn't know how close to stand to that little old microphone hanging with a string, handing down like that. I didn't know how to stand by that. And all this great big tabernacle, you know, and I said, "Well, folks," I said, "I--I don't know very much about the--the way you preach and things." I said, "I just... I was coming up the road..." And--and I didn't know.
And I happened to turn over there to Luke to the rich man lifted up his eyes in hell. And he seen Lazarus far off, and then he cried. I took my text: "And Then He Cried." [Luke 16:19-31]
L-94 And I got--got to talking, and I said, "Then the rich man down in hell there was no church; then he cried." I said, "There was no children; then he cried. There was no songs; then he cried. There was no God; then he cried." And I got started. People go to screaming; then I cried.
Away it went. And the first thing you know everybody on their feet, then he cried, and then he cried. And the next thing I knew, I was out in the yard. Well, I don't know what happened. And everybody was blessing God and carrying on, the congregation screaming and shouting. I don't know what I done; I just lost myself somewhere.
L-95 First thing you know, up come a great big fellow from Texas, a big ten gallon hat on, and cowboy boots, walked up, said, "Say, are you evangelist?"
I said, "Yes, sir."
He said, "How about coming down Texas and holding me a revival?"
I said, "Are you a preacher?"
Said, "Sure." I looked at them big high-heel boots, and that great big cowboy hat, I thought, "Maybe it doesn't make any difference what..."
L-96 Next thing, a fellow walked up, had on little golf pants like this. He said, "Say," said, "I'm from Florida." He said, "I have so many saints down there at a church, or somewhere." Said, "I would like for you to hold..."
I said, "Are you a preacher?"
He said, "Yes, sir."
I thought, "Well, my seersucker trousers and t-shirt ain't so much out of line after all around this place around here. So I begin to look at it. And we had a clerical coat and collar, and everything they wore, you know. So they... I thought, "Well, that's all right."
L-97 So then a woman stepped up from up around somewhere way up in the northern part of Michigan. She was with the Indians. She said, "I just know.. while you were preaching, the Lord told me that you should come and help me up there with the Indians."
I said, "Just a minute. Let me get a piece of paper." And I went to writing down these names and addresses. And my, I had a string of them that long, last me a year. My, was I happy. Out of there I went, jumped in my old Ford, and down the road we went to Jeffersonville as hard as we could go, sixty miles an hour: thirty this way and thirty up-and-down that way, just as hard as he could go, right down the road a flying as hard as we could, to go to Jeffersonville.
I jumped out of the car, as my wife, always, she come, run to meet me. And she said, "What you so happy about?"
I said, "Honey, you just don't realize." I said, "I met the happiest people in the world."
She said, "Well, where they at?"
L-98 I told her all about them. And I said, "Looky here. Let me show you something. You wouldn't believe that this preacher boyfriend of yours, looky here. All them people asked me, this whole line, down through Texas, Louisiana, and everywhere, come preach for them. See there?" I said, "I prayed all night under a cherry tree out there, and God told me..."
Said, "What kind... what do they act like?"
I said, "Oh, don't ask me." I said, "They just act any way."
And so she said, "Oh, my." Said... She said...
I said, "And they asked me to go. I'm going to quit my job and go to preaching right out with them, leave my church."
She said, "Well..."
I said, "Will you go with me?"
L-99 God bless her heart. She said, "I'll promise to go with you anywhere, and I will go anywhere that you go." That's a real wife. She's in her grave today, but still I'm glad that I can say this, and her son, her and my son standing, listening. His mother was a queen.
And I--I said, "Well, look," I said, "We..." I said, "We'll tell our parents."
I went and told mama, I said, "Mama, looky here." And I told her about the people.
She said, "You know what?" She said, "Billy, a long time ago, down in Kentucky, we had what they all call the old Lone Star Baptist." And said, "And they used to shout and scream, and carry on like that." She said, "That's real heartfelt religion."
I said, "That's what I believed in all my life." And I said, "You ought to see them."
She said, "Well, the... I trust that God will bless you, Bill."
And I said, "All right." So we went to tell her mother then.
L-100 And during this time, her mother and father had separated. And I said... We went to tell her mother. And I said, "Mrs.--Mrs. Brumbach," I said, "I--I have found the wonderful people," like that.
And she was setting on the porch, you know. Now, don't get mad at me if you're here. So she said... She was setting on the porch fanning. She said, "William, I will give you to understand; I will never give my daughter permission to go out with a bunch of holy-rollers like that." Oh, my. She said, "That bunch of trash..." Said, "She'd never have a decent dress to put on her back."
I said, "Well, Mrs. Brumbach, it isn't a dress proposition." I said, "The thing of it is, is that I feel that God wants me to do it."
L-101 And she said, "Look, why don't you go up there at the church where you have got a congregation coming, and think about getting yourself a parsonage and a place to take your wife and the baby to, and instead of pulling her out: today she's got something to eat, and tomorrow she's got nothing, and things like this." She said, "Never indeed, will I ever permit my daughter to go like that. And if she does go, her mother will go to a grave broken hearted."
And Hope said, "Mama, do you mean that?"
And she said, "That's just what I mean." That settled it.
Hope started crying. I put my arm around her and walked away. I said, "But Mrs. Brumbach, she's my wife."
She said, "But she's my daughter."
Said, "Yes, ma'am."
L-102 I walked away, went down. She looked at me, Hope did. She said, "Bill, that's my mother, but I will go with you." See? I said... God bless her heart. She said, "I will go with you."
And I said, "Honey, I..." I said, "I guess I'm carrying water on both shoulders." But I said, "I don't want to hurt her feelings." She said... I said, "What if something would happen to her and then you'd be worried all your life: you--you broke your mother's heart." I said, "Maybe we'll just put it off a little while."
And friends, there's where I made the worst step I ever made in my life, right there. We put it off.
About few weeks after that, things begin to happen. The flood come on later from that. And the first thing you know, wife got sick; Billy got sick during that wrong. Right after that, the little girl... Just eleven months difference between Billy and his little--his little sister, which was Sharon Rose...
L-103 I wanted to name her a Bible name. So I couldn't call her Rose of Sharon, so I called her Sharon Rose; and I--I named her that. She was a darling lovely little thing. And the first thing you know, the flood come up. She was laying there with pneumonia.
And our doctor, Dr. Sam Adair came. And he's a brother to me. He looked at her, said, "Bill, she's seriously ill." Said, "Don't you go to bed." Right at Christmas time... He said, "Don't you go to bed tonight. You give her orange juice all night long. Make her drink at least two gallons tonight to break that fever. She got a fever hundred and five." And said, "You must break that fever right away."
L-104 I said, "All right." And I set up and give her orange juice all night. The next morning the fever was a little lower.
Her--her mother came up. And she just didn't like Dr. Adair at all. She liked another doctor there in the city. And she said, "I'm going to take her down home. This house is not--not equipped with heat and stuff for her to stay.
I said, "Well, I'd rather ask Dr. Adair if we should move her."
She said, "He ain't got sense enough to know how to come in out of the rain." She said, "I wouldn't ask him nothing." Said, "I will get a doctor, a doctor..."
I said, "But look, we shouldn't... we--we don't..."
L-105 And I called Doctor Adair. He said, "Bill, don't you move her." Said, "If you do, it'll kill her." Said, "Take her out in that cold; it's sub-zero weather right now, plumb down to that place, and change them rooms for her." Said, "Don't you do that." But 'course there it was.
And I called him; I said, "She is going to do it anyhow."
He said, "Then I will get off the case, Bill. I love you as--as a brother, you know that, but I will have to leave the case and turn it over to Dr...?..."
And I said, "Well... I... Doc, you know where my feeling is." I said, "I..."
L-106 So I went down there and I knelt down and prayed. I went over to the church. When I started to pray, looked like a black sheet come moving down the in front of me. I went over, I said, "I don't think she'll ever come from the bed."
And all of them said, "Oh, Billy, you just think..."
I said, "The same thing that happened about that flood," I said, "is the same thing that is telling me about my wife." I said, "I don't believe she'll come from the bed."
Said, "Oh, I believe it's your wife and you just... that's the way you feel about it." But oh, my, a little later on, I will never forget how that was. Oh, it went on for a little bit; she got worse, worse.
L-107 Finally the flood come up, and I was on a rescue party out there. I had a speed boat; I was trying to get people out. And I remember one night they took--they took her to the hospital then put her over here in--in a place at the government. And her and both babies were sick, horribly sick.
And I will never forget that fatal night when the flood walls broke through down there. I heard a scream way back over on Chester Street. And I had a speed boat, and I got out there and tried to get a mother out of there. Just as I picked her up, she fainted. I picked her up in my arms and put her in the boat about eleven o'clock, put the babies in there. And when I got her back to shore, she began to scream, "My baby. My baby." She had a baby there about two years old, and I thought she meant she had another little baby out there in that place. And back I went to try to get the baby.
L-108 I tied my boat up the side of the pillar of the porch, and when I went up into the room to try to look around for the baby, I heard the house giving away below, and I run down real quick just in time to jump into the water and hold on to the end of my boat, and pulled the... And it sub-zero, sleeting and snowing.
And I pulled the rope like that and got in my boat. The waves caught it and swept me out into the middle of the current, out into the river. And I got back in there, and I couldn't get my boat started, the old chain, it will pull on the outboard motor, you--you know, the old-timers, where you have had a whirl on the top of it. And I pulled and pulled, and I couldn't get the thing started. And there was the Ohio falls roaring just below me. Oh, brother, a way of a transgressor is hard. Don't you never think that.
L-109 And I pulled and it wouldn't start. And I pulled again and it wouldn't start. And I tried, and I got down in the boat; I said, "God, it isn't but a few more jumps down here and I will sink beneath those falls there," where they're roaring and bubbling, miles of water stretching through there. I said, "I got a sick wife and two babies laying out there in the hospital." I said, "Please, dear God, start this motor."
And I could think, "I will never let my girl go out with a bunch of that trash." And I say this with all due respect to every church; I find out what she called trash is the cream of the crop. That's exactly right. That's exactly right.
L-110 And I pulled on that, and it kept roaring in my ears. And I pulled again, and I... Just a few minutes and it started. And I had to pull right back upstream and give it all the gas that it could. Finally, I landed down almost to New Albany, just whirling the edge of those falls.
I got back in, and run back up to the hospital to see where my wife was, and the flood had done took this thing away; it was gone. Now, where was my wife, where was my babies? Wet, and cold. I run out there. And I met Major Weekly. I'd just...
Brother Ryan had just left somewhere; I don't know where he went. I think you went with Brother George and them on out. And I met Brother George. The last time I seen him in life, he put his arms around me, said, "Brother Billy, with all my heart..." And he was a converted medium. And he said, "With all my heart, I love Jesus Christ, and if I never see you again, I will see you in the morning."
I said, "God bless you, George," as he went on. He was trying to find Brother Ryan then, somewhere, 'cause he was in the city.
L-111 And then I tried to find Hope. I couldn't find her. Some of them said, "No, there was no one drowned in that group." Said, "They all got on a train, and went out to Charlestown." Well, I jumped in my car and started to Charlestown, when I did that creek back there had cut off about five miles of solid water down through there. Some of them said, "No," said, "the train got half-way out there and was washed off the trestles out there. They all drowned out there off of that trestle." They went out on a cattle car.
My wife, her father, one of the heads down there on the railroad, and [] his daughter with double pneumonia and two babies with pneumonia laying in the cattle car. And the sleet and rain a blowing on the road to somewhere, and washed out in the water.
L-112 I tell you, brother, there's a whole lot. When God calls you to do anything, don't you let no one stand in your way. You keep God first.
And I tried to find... I couldn't get a way, got my speed boat, and tried to get out into... towards Charlestown. I couldn't even touch the waters, the whirl would swing me plumb back. And I thought I was a pretty good boatman. And I tried it after times; it was almost breaking day, no success at all there. It was gone.
Then I was in a room, then found myself on a little island sitting out there. For three or four days I set alone there where they had to drop me something to eat. I had a long time to think over whether that was a bunch of trash or not, whether to mind some woman, or to mind what God said. No matter who it was, you listen to what God's got to say.
L-113 There, after while, after I got across the waters, it dropped enough, I went to see where my wife was. They told me she was in Charlestown. Got there, she wasn't there. And old Colonel Hay just went to glory recently, he put his arm around me, said, "Let's go down to the railroad station." When I went down there, broken-hearted, crying, I didn't know what to do. Oh, my, I thought, "Babies are probably laying, drifted off yonder somewhere in some brush pile. The wife may be laying down there, also." Oh, how I cried, and begged, and repented, and told God.
Look, friends. I believe if I'd have went on right then, where I was mixing up with that bunch of people who believed in the supernatural, the Angel of God would've come to me and revealed that thing, and it would've been thousands times thousands of more people in glory because of it. See, that's the reason I go day and night, and never worry, putting my whole strength, 'cause I've got to redeem the time; I've got to do it.
L-114 And so when I... Finally someone come and got me, said, "No, they're not drowned, Billy, I know where they are at. They're in Columbus, Indiana in the Baptist church." And I... They taken me up there, and I run down through that hall that night, screaming to the top of my voice. I didn't care who heard me, "Hope, Hope, where are you, honey?" Way down through there...
And all the refugees back there on little old cots and blankets, hanging up. And I happened to look way down there at the end, and I seen a bony hand holding up like that. I rushed real quick, pair of boots on, fell down there, and throwed my hat off, looked down there, and there laid my sweetheart, dying. Her hand moving up, her jaw sunk back, about three weeks or more before I'd found her. Her eyes were way back.
L-115 I just put my hands over on her. She said, "I know I look horrible, Bill."
I said, "Honey, you look all right."
She said, "Now, don't tell me that, honey."
I said, "O God, have mercy." I said, "Where's the babies?"
She said, "Mom and them has got them over next building."
I said, "Is Billy alive?"
Said, "Yes."
I said, "Sharon alive?"
Said, "Yes."
I said, "Oh, thanks be to God." I said, "I heard from mama, and mama's alive. She's over at some other place." I said, "I heard by radio, but I couldn't hear from you nowhere." And I said, "Oh, honey." And she said... I said, "You..."
And I felt somebody tap me on the shoulder, and I looked up. It was a very smart looking man. He said, "Rev. Branham?"
And I said, "Yes sir."...?... a sign. And I walked over there. Said, "Aren't you a friend of Dr. Sam Adair?"
And I said, "Yes."
L-116 He said, "Your wife, I'm informed to tell you... I'm the doctor here." He said, "I'm informed to tell you, your wife has galloping TB. She just has a few days to live." Said, "She's going to die."
Said, "No, doc. No--no, that isn't so."
He said, "Oh, yes it is, Rev. Branham, it is."
"Oh," I said, "it can't be, doctor. You mean she's..."
He said. "Yes." And said, "You'll be a very lucky man if your children pull through." Said, "I'm tending to the children, also."
And I said, "O God, have mercy."
He said. "Now, don't break down before her."
I said, "All right, sir. All right." I said, "Thank you very much. Where is Dr. Sam?"
He said, "I don't know where he's at."
And I said, "Thank you, doctor." And I said, "I--I'll... Let me go back to her," I said, "just to be with her as much as I can." I said, "I--I--I won't break down."
L-117 And I walked back nervously. I looked at her, those pretty black eyes setting way deep back there, and her hair and her forehead. Oh, I seen she was going. I looked over her, and I said, "Hope, sweetheart, you--you look all right."
And she said, "Oh, maybe God will have mercy and let me live, Bill."
And I said, "I hope He does, sweetheart."
And so, after a few days, I got her out of there, got her down to Jeffersonville to the home. And she kept getting worse, and worse, worse and worse. The two children begin to get better, but she got worse. And after while...
L-118 Dr. Adair, he tried everything he could. He sent to Louisville to a specialist of TB, brought over, and he said, "Well, if you have an pneumothorax machine." I went and borrowed the money and got a pneumothorax machine, and we give her the treatments. You know what pneumothorax is: they collapse the lung, you know, like that. And I'd hold her poor hand and it would grip so they poured that...? there and pump out the lung. If I had to do over again, I'd never let her suffer like that.
And so, trying, but they were working hard to save her life. Finally took her out to the hospital for x-rays. Here it come, right on up that tuberculosis pneumonia was coming right out off the left lung. He said, "You just got a few days, Rev. Branham. There's nothing in the world can be done. She's going to die."
I said, "Almighty God has called for her to answer."
L-119 Oh, how could I stand that? How could I believe? How could I do it? I looked down there, and there laid my little Sharon Rose, a little suckling baby, about eleven months old. Here was little Billy Paul just about eighteen months old, little bitty fellow. And them, with out a mother; and me. Oh, what could I do? I just couldn't believe it hardly. I walked the floor; I cried. I--I done everything. You... I tell you, brother, you'd better mind God when God speaks to you. You do what He tells you.
And I walked back and forth. Finally come the hour. I was out in the car and heard them call me that I must come to the hospital at once. My wife was dying, said she couldn't live any longer. I rushed to the hospital real quick, threw off my coat, run up the steps. And when I did...
L-120 I will never forget it. Little Dr. Adair, a fine little fellow, and he come walking down the room. We fished together; we hunt together; we slept together; we were bosom buddies. And he's--he's a specialist. And he come walking down the hall with his head down. He happened to look, standing down there, and he seen me, and tears rolled down his cheeks, and he stepped off into a room.
I run down the hall real quick, pulled open the door; he put his arm around me, said, "Billy, boy..." Patting me.
I said, "What is it, doc?"
He said, "I just can't tell you, Bill." Said, "Just go ahead out and let the nurse tell you."
I said, "Come on, doctor. What is it?"
He said, "She's gone."
I said, "She isn't gone, doc."
Said, "Yes, she's gone."
I said, "Doc, go with me to the room, will you?"
L-121 He said, "Bill, I can't do that." He said, "Hope, how we... Why, we was just like my sister." He said, "I--I can't go in that room again."
So just then the nurse come in. She said, "Rev. Branham, here's some medicine. I want you to take this."
I said, "I don't want your medicine." So she said...
I went out to the room. She said, "I'm going with you."
I said, "No, let me go alone." I said, "Let me go in and see her." And I walked in. I said, "Is she gone?"
Said, "I--I think she is." Said, "Dr. Adair left a few minutes ago, and said there was nothing more could be done: she was gone."
L-122 So I opened the door, walked in. And I looked laying there, and she had her eyes closed, her mouth was open; her little body was drawed down to about a hundred pounds, less than that, oh, like this. And I put my hand over on her forehead; it was sticky like. And I said, "Hope, sweetheart, will you answer me?" I said, "Do you... Will you--will you answer me, honey?" I said, "Will you speak to me just one more time?"
I said, "God, I know I have been wrong, but if You'll just let her speak to me one more time. Will You, Lord? Please let her speak." And while I was praying, I looked. If I live to be a hundred years old, will... I will never forget that. Those big dark eyes opened up and she looked at me. She motioned for me to get down. I looked at her; I said, "Sweetheart, you're all right, aren't you?"
L-123 She said, "Why did you call me, Bill? Why did you call me?"
I said, "What do you mean?"
She said, "Oh, I was so easy." She'd been suffering so hard.
And I said, "What do you mean, 'easy,' honey?"
She said, "Well," she said, "Bill, you know I'm going, don't you?"
And I said, "No."
She said, "I am." And she said, "Bill, I don't mind it." Said, "You know why I'm going, don't you?"
And I said, "No."
She said, "Bill, you remember the day we went up to mother and that bunch of people?"
I said, "I know it, honey?"
She said, "We ought not to have did that." Oh, the grinding my heart...
L-124 Just then the nurse run in the door, said, "Rev. Branham, you better take this." She motioned to the nurse. She took me by the hand; she said, "Louise," we knew them all well. She said, "Louise Hale," she said, "I hope, when you get married, that you have a husband like mine." She said, "He's been so good to me." She said, "I hope..." And Louise, she--she just couldn't stand it. She set the medicine down and went out of the room.
And I said, "Honey, are you going?"
She said, "I was being taken home, Bill." Said, "There was someone dressed in white setting on each side of me. I was going down a big beautiful path." And said, "It was peaceful, and the big palm trees like an orient, and the big birds a flying from tree to tree." Said, "It's such a beautiful place."
L-125 You know what I think? I think God let her break into paradise just as she was going over. And she said, "You know, Bill, that religion that we been talking about since we received the Holy Ghost?"
And I said, "Yes."
She said, "Don't never cease to preach that." She said, "Stay with that." She said, "That's the thing.
And I said, "Honey, if I would've probably listened..."
She said, "Yes, Bill." She said, "Now look, honey," she said, "I'm going fast." She said, "But remember, that wonderful Holy Spirit that we've received," she said, "It's taking me through." She said, "Promise me this, honey, that you'll never never cease, you'll never let up, you'll always stand true to that." She said, "It's wonderful in death."
And I said, "I--I will."
She said, "I got a few things for me to promise."
I said, "What is it, honey?"
L-126 She said, "You remember that time when we was in Louisville and you was going on that hunting trip, and you wanted to buy that little .22 rifle."
I said, "Yes."
And said, "You didn't have enough, three dollars, to make the down payment?"
I said, "Yes." I'm very fond of rifles and things; it's just a sport to me and a recreation, I should say. And I--I said, "I remember that."
L-127 She said, "Honey, I've tried my best to save our nickels and things to get it for you." She said, "After I'm gone, you go home, and right on top of that old folding bed where Brother Ryan slept," she said, "right up on top of there, under the newspaper, you'll find the money that I saved." She said, "I've cut that out of allowance for my clothes and things that you let me have," she said, "to save it so I could get enough for a down payment to get you that rifle."
You'll never know how I felt when I looked in there and seen two dollars and seventy cents in nickels and dimes, to buy the rifle.
L-128 She said, "There's another thing." She told me about some stockings that I'd bought her one time that... I didn't know how to buy stockings, and I called it socks, and I got the wrong kind. And she told me that it--it was the wrong kind, and she'd give them to my mother because it wasn't the kind that--that she wore.
So she said, "Another thing, I want you to promise me."
Said, "What's that?"
She said, "That you won't live single."
And I said, "Oh, Hope, don't, please. Please don't ask me, honey."
She said, "Look, Bill," she said, "in heaven there'll be no marriage or given in marriage." She said, "And I got two little babies here I'm leaving you with." And she said, "I don't mind going, but I hate to leave you." Said, "I hate to leave Billy Paul and Sharon." She said, "But Billy, if--if they're raised up, and you in the ministry, and they be pulled about from pillar to post," she said, "find some good girl, some good girl that's got the Holy Ghost," said, "let her be in my place as a mother."
L-129 I thought of a twenty-two year old woman, going like that. I couldn't promise her. I said, "Honey, I--I--I just can't promise that. I--I--I can't do it."
She said, "You wouldn't let me go unhappy?"
I said, "No." I said, "I will just do the best I can."
She said, "Bill, I... They're coming back." Said, "Don't think I'm beside myself; I'm not," she said, "but I feel Them coming near. They're coming after me."
I stepped back, looked at her; I said, "Sweetheart, if you are going, all right. I'll take your body out here on Walnut Ridge graveyard, and I'll make a mound, and I'll put you in there." And I said, "Then if Jesus comes before I go, I'll be somewhere on the battlefield preaching the Holy Ghost Gospel." And I said, "If I sleep, I'll be by your side." And I said, "Look, honey, for my last date with you, my sweetheart," I said, "when the great pearly white city comes rolling down from God out of heaven, and the moon and sun stand there together, black, dripping with blood..."
L-130 We don't believe in death of Christians. You can't prove to me that a Christian dies. The Blood of Jesus Christ takes away sin; it doesn't cover it. The believer goes in the Presence of God now.
Now, I said, "Honey, if I'm asleep that day, if--if I'm awake, you'll come first, for they which are dead in Christ shall rise first." I said, "You run quickly up to the side of the City gate." And I said, "When you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and them coming," I said, "you start screaming then, my name, to the top of your voice, 'Bill, Bill,' as loud as you can." And I said, "I'll get Sharon and Billy and get them together, and I'll meet you there at the gate before we go in."
She took a hold of my hand; she squeezed it. I raised down, and kissed her good-bye. She... Them angel eyes looked up at me again as she was taking away, she said, "I'll be waiting for you at the gate."
God took her precious soul to glory. There I stood, looking down. What could I do, my sweetheart gone, the very part of my heart pulled away? I went out of there to go home, took her body down to the undertakers establishment. She was embalmed. And I went home, tried to go to sleep; I couldn't do it.
After while, a man knocked on my door, said, "Billy?"
I said, "Yes."
Said, "I hate to tell you this."
I said, "But Brother Frank, I was right out there when she died."
He said, "That's not it." Said, "Your baby's dying also."
I said, "Who, Billy?"
Said, "No, Sharon."
I said, "Surely not."
L-131 Said, "Dr. Adair has just come, got her, and took her to the hospital. And she has tubercular meningitis. There's not a chance. They say she'll be dead in a little bit."
She was perfectly healthy. I rushed, just as fast as I could. They had to hold me, set me in a old Chevrolet truck, he and his boy. I just couldn't hold myself together; my heart was breaking.
Away to the hospital I went, went in. There set a nurse, said, "Now Rev. Branham, you can't go down in there. We got her in a isolated ward." Said, "You'll give Billy Paul the same thing. Said, "You can't go."
I said, "I must see my baby."
L-132 She said, "You can't go, Rev. Branham; it's tubercular meningitis. She's picked it up from her mother. It's in the spine and she's dying now." And said, "If you go in there," said, "it's dangerous of taking it to the bi--your boy." And said, "You cannot go in." And she said, "Go in the room."
And I went to the room. When she shut the door, I went right out behind the door and went right on down to where it was. Very poor hospital, I looked there, and they'd put a little rag over the sides, little mosquitoes bars they call it. Flies had got in its eyes. It was down in the basement in a isolated ward. I walked in and looked at my baby. There she laid, my sweetheart, her little teeny baby blue eyes looking up at me, her little leg, little fat leg laying there with her little corners on, you know. And she was.. Her little leg was moving up-and-down like a little spasm, her little hand like it was a waving to me. I said, "Sharon, you know daddy?"
L-133 And her little lips started quivering. And she was suffering so hard till one of those little blue eyes crossed over like that. Oh, my. When I think of it... I can't stand to see a cross-eyed child. You know, sometimes God has to take a flower to crush it, to bring the perfume out. I... Every time I see a cross-eyed child, I think of that. I never seen one yet but what God healed.
Then I noticed that little eye moving over like that. I thought, "O God." I fell down on my face; I said, "God, please don't take her. O God, are You going to..." I said, "Take me first. Let me die. I'm the one that's trespassed." But God knows just how to get into your heart...?... Yes, He does.
L-134 And I said, "I'm the one that has done wrong, Lord. Oh, don't take my baby. Take me, Lord. My wife laying yonder in the morgue, and here You're going to take my baby. Please don't do it, Lord. I--I've served You; I--I'm ashamed of myself that I listened to somebody instead of You. I'll never do it again, Lord. I--I want to live for You, I'll do all that You want me to do. Them people's not back-washed. They are not trash." I said, "I'll go. I don't care who's called me holy-roller or whatever. They might do it. I'll serve You if You'll just let my baby live, Lord. Please do," begging like that.
L-135 And I looked down. And just as I looked down to where... Here come a black sheet moving down. I knew that was it. I knew she was going. I looked over at her like that. And her little mouth begin coming open. Her eyes crossed over. And I said, "Sherry, you know daddy, honey?" And she was making a little funny noise. And I laid my hand over on her head.
Then Satan moved to me, and he said, "Will you trust Him now?"
I laid my hand on her; I said, "God, You gave her to me; You're taking her away from me. Blessed be the Name of the Lord." Said, "God, I can't deny You; I can't say that You are unjust. I duly deserve all this punishment. You're still just, and I still love You. I'll still serve You with all my heart. Now, to my baby, Lord. I've begged You; I have tried to get You to keep her. But nevertheless, not my will, let Your will be done."
L-136 Just then I felt my human strength giving away, my body crumbling down to the floor. I held on to the side of the bed. The Angels of God come and got her little soul and packed her to her mother. They took her little body, laid it on the arm of the mother; there I looked there, and oh, my. Took her out to the graveyard, lowered her down. And Brother Smith standing there, the Methodist preacher, preached her funeral, put his arms around me, picked up the clods of dust, sprinkled them upon the casket, said, "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and earth to earth." My heart went down in there too: my sweetheart, my baby.
Then Billy Paul took sick. He was laying right at the point of death, eighteen months old. Last time he seen his mother, sitting, my old baseball cap on, out in the yard, like that, and her going down in the ambulance, her...?... saying, "My baby. My baby." little fellow sitting in the yard... I know... Excuse me. She... We was going down the street... And Billy was at my mother's house, and he was looking at her. Didn't know...?... his mother...?... to her death; and her trying to wave through the ambulance window at her baby there in the yard, poor little fellow.
L-137 I looked down. They had buried her. It seemed like come whispering down through those trees, seemed like I could hear her voice say:
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 gain the portal,
There to dwell with the immortal,
Someday they will ring those golden bells for you and me.
L-138 Here not long ago I was taking Billy down to the grave to put a flower on it at Easter. The little fellow was packing the flowers. And we come along, got close to mother's grave, just... It was breaking day. I seen the little fellow take off his hat as I did; we set the flower down on mother and baby's grave. We started to kneel down. I put my arm around him; I said, "Sonny, boy, looks like we've been mother and daddy both to you." For years I lived single. I'd pack his little bottles here in my coat to keep them warm, lay them under my pillow at night so my head would keep his milk warm. I said, "I've done all I can to raise you up to be a good boy." I said, "There lays the dust of the earth where mother and sissy come from. But honey boy, beyond this veil, in Jerusalem, there's a empty grave. They who are dead in Christ, someday they'll come forth from that grave." And we... Little fellow snubbing, we knelt, prayed at the grave.
L-139 I remember trying to go to work after that, a little later on. I thought I'd... There's no place like home. If you ever had your home broken up, there'll never be no place to take it's place. I have found no peace nowhere. One day when I was ready to commit suicide. When I went into the room, I just couldn't stand it any longer. It just... I got up. I was on the line, and I got up on the post. And I was... One morning I was singing: "On the hill far away stood an old rugged cross." And I happened to look. And that cross arm on the post, me standing, swinging back in my safety. My shadow on that hillside where that post was, looked like the cross. And suddenly I thought, "Yes, it was my sins that hung Him there.
L-140 And I looked over, and I said, "O God, I can't stand it any more." I said, "Sharon Rose, honey, I'm coming to see you this morning." I took off my gloves. I was a lineman, you know, twenty-three hundred volt gloves. I pulled my rubber glove off. Here run the primary running right by me, twenty-three hundred volts; touch it, would break every bone in your body. I said, "Sharon, honey, do you hear me? Daddy's coming home to see you this morning." Then I pulled that glove off, and I said, "God, this is a cowardly trick but I... []
L-141 And I passed by, as always, tried to be a gentleman. I took off my hat, and I said, "How do you do, young lady?"
She said, "Hello, dad."
I said, "Dad?" Why, I said, "I'm as old as you are, how could I be your dad?"
She said, "Dad, you just don't realize where you are." Said, "This is heaven?" She said, "Where's my brother, Billy Paul?"
And I said, "What is this?"
She said, "Daddy, down on earth I was your little Sharon Rose."
I said, "Sharon, and you're a lady?"
She said, "Yes. Little babies don't be here, dad"; said, "we're all of one age." Said, "Mother's looking for you."
L-142 And I said, "Where's mother?"
She said, "Up at your new home."
And I said, "New home?" I said, "Why, I haven't got no home, honey." I said, "Branhams don't have homes. They're vagabonds."
She said, "But dad, you got a home here." She said, "Turn this a way."
And I looked. It looked like a hill, a great mansion setting everywhere, the glow of God coming up from around it. She said, "Mother's waiting for you up there, dad." And I...
She said, "I'm going to wait for Billy Paul. Mother wants to see you."
L-143 And I started running up, like that, the steps. And as I got up, as usual, there she stood, not sick any more, beautiful dark hair hanging down to her shoulders, her black snappy eyes looking at me, dressed in white. She reached out her arms, and she said, "Bill."
I run up real quick, fell down at her feet, took hold of her hand, and I said, "Honey, I don't understand it."
She said, "Stand up, honey." I stood up. She said, "Look."
I said, "I seen Sharon. Honey, she's a beautiful girl."
She said, "Yes, she is." Said, "She's waiting for Billy."
And I said, "Hope, I--I can't understand all of it."
L-144 She said, "I know you can't, but you'll wake up after while and then you'll understand." Said, "Bill, you are worrying yourself to death." Said, "Don't worry about Sharon and I. We're better off than you are." Said, "Everything's all right." Said, "You just go on and do as you promised."
And I said, "Well, Hope, I can't understand all about this."
She said, "Won't you set down?"
And I looked, and there was a great big Morris chair. I looked over at her. She said, "You remember, don't you?"
And I said, "Yes."
L-145 One time when I'd preached. I worked all day and preach every night. And I'd come in, and I wanted a place to rest. And I got an old Morris chair. I paid fifteen dollars for it. And I paid a dollar down and a dollar every other week. And I got five or six dollars paid, and I couldn't make the payments. And one day when I come home, she told me that... I had a dun there. And we just couldn't make the payment. I just had to let it go back. I... It was the only piece of furniture we had in the house was worth anything. And we had it about one-third paid for.
And that evening when I come in... She was a sweetheart. She--she know... She'd baked me a cherry pie; she knowed how I liked it. And she'd baked me a cherry pie. And she said she'd some of the little boys to dig some fishing worms. And we was going down to the river fishing and she was telling me all... And I knowed there was something wrong. And after supper she said, "Now, let's go down to the river right away, Bill." And she didn't like fishing but she knew I did. So she said, "Let's go to the river."
And I said, "Honey, what's happened today?"
She said, "Nothing."
L-146 And I could see the tears in them big eyes. I knowed there was something wrong. I said, "Let's go into the front room." I thought something wrong.
And they'd... I'd already sent them word to come, get it. So they had took my chair. When I went to the door. She looked over, and she put her arms around me; she said, "Bill, I tried hard, honey. I--I--I tried. It isn't..."
I said, "No, sweetheart, it isn't your fault. But some of these days things will be different, and--and someday God will make a way, and we'll have a--a nice chair. And don't you believe that?"
And she said, "I--I hope we do, Bill."
L-147 And just then, in this dream she pointed to a big chair. And then she looked at me; I said, "You remember that chair?"
Said, "Yes." She said, "But honey, they'll never come and get this one. This one's already paid for. They'll never come after this." Said...
I know, my Christian friend, somewhere beyond the skies yonder, when this mortal life of mine shall fade out into a tomorrow... I know that there's rest for me beyond the river. I have a chair over there, a home, a place. I love them with all my heart. It's truly with all my heart. And my sad mistakes that I made back through life, you let them be stepping stones.
L-148 My time is past. Would you just do this: if you have never made your peace with God and you realize that someday... Maybe your experience wasn't as mine. I hope it wasn't. But remember, with every mortal in here has got to face God someday yonder. And I remember the last kiss I put on her lips. Someday I'll meet her yonder beyond that just as sure as I'm standing here. The grace of God saved me. It keeps me day by day. And I live so your...
One woman said to me not long ago, about a year ago or two, she said, "Brother Branham, when in the world when you're home, the sick people pouring in, when you are out here in the meetings, when do you ever have any rest?"
L-149 A few years ago, you look in the book back there, and you wouldn't know I was the same man. When I returned home after my first great meeting, even my baby was scared of me and run from me. I'd lost most of my hair, had come out. My shoulders had slumped down. Something had happened. What's the matter? It's by the revelation of the vision of God that moves down, and I know it's sapping my life daily.
I looked the other day, when I was standing, using my razor. I thought, "Oh, how can it be that these few years has made such in you, boy?" But one of these days when I cross over on the other side, things will be different then.
L-150 I love you. I am here at this place of Hammond, Indiana, to do my very best to help you. I'm here to pray with you; I'm here to do all I can. And if you see me laboring with all my soul to try to get people to believe on Jesus Christ. And at that glorious day when I come up before Him there, I'd like to look back and see this whole mass of people standing there, and say, "Lord Jesus, that's the best that I could do."
To hear Him say, "It was well done My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joys of the Lord," That's where I expect to be someday. One of these days when it just draws out, I'll--I'll be done, and I'll have to stand before Him. Let's bow our heads just a moment.
Heavenly Father, as I look back, trying here, knowing that I got a service tonight, realizing that I must hold myself together with all that I've got to minister to the people... As I think back down along that life's journey there, all the sorrows, and heartaches, and hungers, and mistakes...
L-151 God, there may be a young man setting here today, or a young woman, just stepping out on the crossroads of life. There may be some man or woman that's spent the most of their days and yet never has accepted Thee.
How thankful I am when I walk over to the grave of my loved one laying there, knowing this: that that is like a corn of wheat that fell into the earth, that in there lays a germ of immortal life, that it too shall come just when the Son comes. When the Son of God shines His righteousness upon the earth, then will my little Sharon Rose rise, then when I embrace her in my arms, say, "Darling baby, God knows best. You knowed I had no way to take care of you. He knowed what was best. Maybe you'd have got out here in some of these roadhouses or something and been like some of the modern girls. He took you. I know where you are now, sweetheart: with mommy. And someday daddy will come."
O God, I pray today, as Your servant; I pray that if there's that person here that doesn't know You just at this time, that they will say, "This is the hour that I'm going to bypass all those troubles. I'm going to accept Christ as my Saviour. I'm going to be filled with His Spirit, and I'm going to live for You." If there's a young couple here, Lord, that doesn't know You, I pray that this will be the hour of their decision. Grant it, Father.
L-152 Excuse me for being a baby, Lord, but just the memories of old times, how those sorrowful days of sweat, and tears, and toils, and heartaches, and death, and hunger. God, may Your Spirit now speak peace to some heart.
And while we have our heads bowed, if there's anybody in the building that is--would like to become a Christian just at this time, would you raise up your hand. Say, "Brother Branham, I believe that God hears your prayer; I want you to pray for me. I want to now accept Christ."
God bless you, you, you, someone on down here on the lower floors again. Someone else wants to accept Christ as personal Saviour, wants to be remembered in prayer, believe that God hears my prayer, would you come forward? Would you just raise your hand, first?
Up in the balconies to my left, is there a sinner up there would like to accept Christ? If you see the miracles of God, and see that God answers my prayer, would you accept Him now as your Saviour, believe it? I'd just remember you in a word of prayer. Will you raise you hand, as you're setting up there. You may all be Christians; I don't know. God knows your heart. I love you.
L-153 To the balconies to the back, if anyone back there would want to say, "Brother Branham, remember me, I am a sinner. Just pray for me that I'll be saved." Would you raise your hand? God bless you, sir; I see your hand. God bless you, sis; I see your hand.
Someone over to the balcony to the right, would you raise your hand, say, "Brother Branham, remember me in a word of prayer. I believe that God will hear your prayer?" If... you... I... If you are not a sinn... Are a sinner, rather, and wants to accept Christ? God bless you; I see your hand, sister. Someone else? I see you, yes. And you, young lady, I see you.
Down to the bleachers here to my right, would you raise your hand, say, "Remember me." God bless you, sir, I see your hand.
L-154 Someone now in the center, the right hand aisle here, raise your hand, as we go through. Any sinners in here raise your hand. In this aisle through here, would you raise your hand? If there's not, I'll pass over to the left aisle. That's between you and God.
Now, in the left aisle raise your hand, you that's sinners, and say, "Brother Branham, remember me in a word of prayer, if you will." Will you raise your hand in the left aisle, here to my left?
All right. In the left bleacher, would you raise your hands? God bless you, you, you, you, you, you. Yes, many setting along there. God bless you all.
L-155 Way back in the back, standing out in the room, are you sinners today and would like to say, "Brother Branham, remember me in a word of prayer. I want to become a Christian. And truly, I believe there's a heaven, and I--I've had troubles too in my life, and I--I want to accept Christ now as my Saviour, that in me might become a germ of life, a new birth." Would you raise your hand and say, "Remember me." All right.
All those now, who would like to be remembered in prayer for this prayer, would you stand to your feet just now while we pray for you? Just as a witness. "He that'll witness Me before men, I will witness him before My Father and the holy angels." That's right. Look, standing up everywhere, over in the balconies and everywhere that you can. You that wants to be remembered in closing prayer, would you just stand to your feet, and say, "Brother Branham, I--I now, I want--I want to be remembered in this prayer that Jesus Christ will..." That's wonderful.
Somebody else? Someone else? That's right. That's wonderful. Oh, I'm so happy to see you do that. Mother with the little baby, God bless you, sis.
L-156 I wonder, I wonder. You know what I'd like to do? I'd like to shake your hand. I'd just love to shake your hand and pray with you here at the altar. I wonder while the music's a singing, or the music's a playing, and we're singing, lowly, "Almost Persuaded, now to believe," I wonder if--if you, down there, if you'll slip right up here at the altar? Come right down out of the balconies, would you, right down here, and let--let me stand here and pray with you, right here, before you... I can lay my hands on you. Will you do that, you here that wanting to accept Christ, now, as your Saviour? I want to see.
Sisters back there, if you'd walk up here, I'll happy to pray with you, if you'll just come forward. That's fine. God bless you; that's wonderful. Come right down out of the balconies, out of the bleachers, you... And come right up here now. And we want Jesus to hear us. Oh, how marvelous.
"Almost persuaded" now to believe;
"Almost persuaded" Christ to receive;
Seems now some soul to say, "Go, Spirit, go Thy way:
Some more convenient day, on Thee I'll call."

Look. One of these days God's going to fade the light from before your eyes. Oh, mortal being, won't you come now? If you believe that God hears prayer, won't you come here, stand right here in His Presence to make a confession that, "I now believe Jesus Christ and accept Him as my Saviour?" Won't you come?
What a marvelous time. What a time for sinners to come. That's right. Just look at them gathering here around now, an old fashion altar call. Isn't it marvelous? Still people with enough breaking up in their hearts... No matter how starchy the people's got, still the Holy Spirit moves and breaks up the heart and brings them right down to the altar.
L-157 How many knows that old song: "Oh, Why Not Tonight?" Do you... Have you ever heard it? Not many of you? All right, organist, would you give us the chord of it, "Oh, Why Not Tonight?" Do you know it, sister? All right. All right, let's all sing now.
Oh, why not tonight?
Oh, why not tonight?
Wilt thou be saved?
Oh, then why not tonight?
Tomorrow the sun may never rise,
To bless thy long deluded sight;
This is that time, oh, then be wise,
Oh, be saved, oh, tonight.
Oh, why (tell me why,) not tonight?
Won't you come while the people are moving down gathering up? You're going to see the Holy Spirit fall, I believe in a few moments here, something like you... If He will heal the sick, surely He will save the lost.
... be saved.
Then why not tonight?
L-158 Listen while they're coming. The organ, continue if you will, sister. Every Christian be praying. I look down here awhile ago into the audience... I wouldn't say this 'less the young man was standing here. I seen a soldier boy in a uniform. I know God was speaking to that boy's heart. If I have the right...?... that boy's, heading across the waters starting soon. God's saving that soldier boy now.
L-159 I see a young lady setting in the audience. I'm not calling her name. But God has spoke to her; I know she should come. I trust that she will, that's who I'm waiting on. There's others maybe somewhere else. Won't you come? Even the young folks. This is the hour; this is the time. Now is the hour to be saved. While we call one more 'Why Not tonight,' will you rise and come? Now, just before we do that, let me pray.
L-160 Father, I believe with all my heart that this may be the final decision for some people. God, I pray that this person that You're speaking to me now about, I--I ask You to be kind once more and speak to that person's heart just now and send her up here. It may be this time separating, crossing between mercy and judgment. God, if that be so, I--I do not know, Lord, Thou knowest. But if it is, I pray that this... that... the woman will walk quickly to the altar right now. Grant it, Lord. Bless now all others through here that You are speaking. I commit it to You now, Father. While we sing once more, may the Holy Spirit call; while Christians are praying.
Oh, why not tonight?
Oh, why not tonight?
Wilt thou be saved?
Then why not tonight?
L-161 Jesus of Nazareth, we pray now in Thy Name, speak now. "These," Thou hast said, "that will come and confess Me before men, them will I confess before My Father and the holy Angels."
While we all have our head bowed, is there any in the building that would desire the baptism of the Holy Spirit now, that you would like to come and be filled with the Holy Spirit? If you'd line right up with these here, would like to receive the Holy Spirit. It might make such a difference. If you're here a sinner, a sick person, you come accept Christ, it might make such a difference. Now is the hour.
Marvelous. Look at those who are hungering for God. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness. They shall be filled." God, be merciful. Just look, friends. "Except a man be borned of water and Spirit, He cannot see the Kingdom."
L-162 Not upon the strength of my dead wife. No, sir, upon the strength of God's Bible, I'm saying this, friend. If you haven't the Holy Spirit, don't you try to face eternity without being borned again. God have mercy on us. It's marvelous.
That's right, young man. The young lady ought to have come too.
All right. Everybody together now while we sing: "Have Thy Own Way, Lord." Come on, together now. All right. Give us the chord, sister.
Have Thine own way, Lord!
Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter;
I am the clay.
Mold me and make me
After Thy will,
While I am yielded,
Yielded and still.

[Brother Branham begins humming: "Have Thine Own Way," Lord--Ed.]
L-163 All right. Now, for all that's gathered... Personal workers, where you at now? All right, personal workers, gather right in behind this audience just now, right in behind this crowd; personal workers, ministers of the Gospel, gather right around.
You're going to see the glory of God fill this place. I feeled it right now in my heart. God is moving. He was telling me for a long time, "Hold up now, just a moment. The many," He said, "is coming now seeking for God that's going to be filled, sent away rejoicing. And tonight will be the greatest night that you've seen yet."
Let the personal workers gather right in along, close now, where they can be ready. You haven't left... All right.
Now, while they're gathering, let's all bow our heads everywhere. Now, I want the sinners, those who have not yet accepted Christ, that you want to be saved, I want you to look this way to me. That--that's not the ones seeking for the Holy Ghost, just the sinner.
L-164 Jesus Christ died for you. He wants each one of you to be saved. And someday, my friend, I must meet you up yonder to stand in His Presence to give an account for what I've told you. God forbid that I be found a misinterpreter of God's Word. Now, Jesus said, "He that comes to Me, I will in no wise cast out. And whosoever heareth My Word (that's the Holy Spirit calling), and believeth on Him that sent Me (that's God), has Everlasting Life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death unto Life."
Aren't you happy you come this afternoon, friend? You were the one I was speaking about. Now look, now, Something spoke to your heart. Here's the boy over here. All right. [John 6:37], [John 5:24]
L-165 Now, is that the Scripture? Now, do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God? You believe the Bible story of His virgin birth? You believe that's the truth? And do you now accept Him as your Saviour...?... you will right now renounce all sin in your life and you accept Him as your Saviour, and to the best of your knowledge, you'll live for Him the rest of your days? If you do, raise up your hand, sinners. You now accept Him.
L-166 Now, while you bow your heads, I'm going to say something. And what I... What prayer that I say, you pray. This is what it takes to cleanse your life (You see?), this prayer that... You repeat what I say, only I'm just saying it. You pray it to God, not repeating it behind me, but you pray it to God. Now, while we all have our heads bowed, let the sinner say this...
Almighty God, I now come to Thee as a sinner, accepting Jesus Christ Thy Son as my Saviour. I believe in You, God, and I believe that You sent Jesus to take my place at Calvary. In that that I could not do for myself, being a sinner, I accept what He did for me. And I believe that in His death, You was pleased to receive me by His obedience. Therefore, Lord, nothing in my arms I bring, none of my righteousness, nothing that I can do, only I believe Your Word, and I accept It into my heart now. Receive me, O Lord, for I am sincere, and from this day hence, I will be Your servant. And in the hour of my death, may Jesus Christ come down through the valley of the shadow of death, and light up the way, and bear my weary soul to a haven of rest. Until that time, I will search after Thee and seek for the Holy Spirit until Thou hast give It to me. And I'll make my life, the best of my knowledge, a pattern or a salt to the unbeliever, that they might see my work by my faith, and come to You. Receive me, O God, in the Name of Jesus Christ.
L-167 Now, while your heads are bowed... Father, Thou has heard their confession. They believe truly that You have spoke to them in their heart. The Holy Spirit that called Adam in the garden of Eden has come down through this building today and has called these people right around this altar here to accept You. You're on the platform, You and this host of Angels who are standing near. And You said, "Him that will confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father and the holy Angels. Then, Lord, according to Your Word, their sins are gone. You've heard their confession. They've come publicly and openly and accepted You as their Saviour. And now, Father, I pray that You'll enrich their life with the Holy Ghost. Grant it, Lord, and may each one of them be filled with the Holy Ghost while these others here, are seeking Thy blessing of the Holy Spirit. May they too be filled with the Holy Spirit this very hour. Grant it, Lord, in Jesus' Name. [Matthew 10:22], [Luke 12:8]
L-168 Now, while you all have your heads bowed, you with the Holy Ghost, now you--every one of you that believes and accepted Jesus as your Saviour, while the rest of the audience looks this a way, raise up your hand. Raise up your hand, you that accepted Jesus as your Saviour. Now, there's a witness. Now, according to the Word of God, God witnesses to you in heaven. A hour ago, you'd have went to hell. Now you'd go to heaven if you died. That's the difference between death and life, by your faith in Jesus Christ. Is that right? You are alive now; you are made a new creature. I--if I know God, if I am His prophet, I know that there has been Eternal Life given to people standing right here now. That's right. I feel it; it's moving through me to... Look at the bumps like all over me like that; I know there's something happened right here in this audience. You are saved by your faith in Jesus Christ.
L-169 Now, while these are seeking the Holy Ghost, I want you to pray too. Not upon the prayer that... I want you to lift your hands and give God praise for saving you. And you that wants the Holy Ghost, I want you to lift your hands and say, "Lord, now I believe. I'm offering to you the fruits of my lips, giving praise to Your Name." And that's the way they was on the Day of Pentecost; and the first one that feels the first move of the Holy Ghost, let Him have His way. You'll get It right there.
All right, in all the audience, you without, you outside, stand up. Stand up. All right. Let's lift our hands. Let's lift our voices in a word of praise.
L-170 Almighty God, as Solomon when he dedicated the temple, the Angel of God came down through the buil--come down and moved in behind the Holiest of Holies, and the Spirit of God filled the room till there was no way to minister. O God, may Jesus Christ send the Holy Ghost right now upon these people, Lord God, that You saved and got ready here now. May they receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Oh, Satan, move out of the way. Holy Ghost, come into them in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask it. [I Kings 8:1-11], [II Chronicles 5:1-14]

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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