William Marrion Branham
How the Angel Came to Me
I see several tape recorders down here, and they'll pick this up, of course. Anytime you want to know just what the Holy Spirit said to you, see the brethren here that's got these tape recorders, and they run that right back through, you can get your case exactly. And watch and see if it don't happen just exactly the way It said, you see. When you hear it breathe out "THUS SAITH THE LORD, `A certain thing, or this is this way,'" or just check it over and see if that's right or not. See? It's always that way.
Now, for just a little background... And I'm just kind of happy tonight that there's just a few of us here. We're just home folks, aren't we? We're none of us strangers. We don't... I can just use my Kentucky grammar and feel right at home now, 'cause we're just... And I ain't throwing off on Kentucky now, if there's anybody here from Kentucky. Is there anybody here from Kentucky? Raise your hand. Say! I should feel right at home, shouldn't I? That's mighty fine.
My mother used to run a boarding house. And I went down there one day to find out... And a great group of man boarded there, and the big, long table set. And I said, "How many here is from Kentucky, stand up." Everybody stood up. And I went up to church that night, my church, and I said, "How many here from Kentucky?" Everybody stood up. So I'd say, "Well, that's very good." The missionaries has done a good job, so thankful for it.
Now, in the Book of Romans, the 11th chapter and the 28th verse. Listen closely now to the reading of the Scripture. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: But as touching the election, they are beloved of the... for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and callings of God are without repentance.
Shall we pray. Lord, help us tonight now as we approach this reverently, with all of our heart, and sincerity, only for Your glory these things are said. And help me, Lord, and put just in my mind just the things that should be said and how much to say. Stop me when it's Your time. I ask that every heart will receive these things for the benefit of the sick and needy in this audience. For I ask it in Jesus Christ's Name. Amen.
Now, I want to approach this subject while we're small. AndI'll try not to keep you too long, I'll lay my watch out here and try my best now to let you out in good time so you can be back tomorrow night. Now, be in prayer. I don't think the boy even give out cards. I never asked him whether he... And if they didn't or whether they did or did not, it doesn't matter. We got cards in here anyhow if we have to call some. So, if not, why, we'll just see what the Holy Spirit says.
Now, if you'll listen close now, this may... being that I... It's just a few of us here, it's a good time to say this, 'cause it deals with my own personal being. And that's the reason I read this Scripture tonight, that you might see that gifts and callings are not anything that anyone can merit.
Paul speaking here, said, "The Jews, in the Light of the Gospel, was blinded and away from God, that, for our sake." But the verse just before that, said, "All Israel will be saved." All Israel will be saved. According to the election, God the Father has loved them and blinded them that we Gentiles might have a place now of repentance, that, through Abraham, his Seed could bless all the world according to His Word. See how the sovereignty of God is? His Word's just got to be. He just can't be nothing else. And now we, by... God has elected us; He's elected the Jew; and He's...
All these things is God's foreknowledge. When He spoke of them what would be, He foreknew it. Now, God, in order to be God, at the beginning He had to know the end or He wasn't the infinite God. God's not willing that any should perish. Certainly not! He doesn't want anyone to perish. But at the beginning of the beginning of the days, the world, God knew just exactly who would be saved and who would not be saved. He didn't want the people to be lost, "It's not His will that any should be lost, but it's His will to save everybody," but He knew from the beginning who would and who would not. That's the reason He could foresay, "This thing will happen. That thing will happen," or, "This will be that. This person will be that way." See?
He could foreknow it because He's infinite. If you know what it means, that's just, "there's nothing that He don't know." See, He knows. Well, there's nothing from before time, and after there's no more time, see, He still knows everything. Everything is in His mind. And then as Paul said in Romans, the 8th and 9th chapter, "Then why does he still find fault?" So we see that, but God...
Like preaching the Gospel. Someone said, "Brother Branham, do you believe That?"
I said, "Look."
Said, "You must be Calvinist."
I said, "I am Calvinist as long as Calvinist is in the Bible." Now, there's a limb on the Tree, that's Calvinism, but there's more limbs on the Tree, too. A tree has more than one limb. He just wants to run it on out there into Eternal Security, and after a while you go on off into Universalism and you drop off out there somewhere, there's no end to it. But when you get through with Calvinism, come back up and start on Arminianism. See, there's another limb on the Tree, and another limb on the Tree, just keep on. The whole thing together makes the Tree. So I believe in the... in Calvinism as long as it stays in the Scripture.
And I believe that God knew before the foundation of the world, chose His Church in Christ, and slayed Christ before the foundation of the world. The Scripture said so, "He was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world." See? And Jesus said that He knew us before the foundation of the world, Paul said that, "He knew us and predestinated us unto the adoption of the children by Jesus Christ before the world was ever formed." That's God. That's our Father. See?
So don't worry, the wheels are turning just right, everything's coming just in time. The only thing, is, get in the turn. And that's the good part about it, then you know how to work when you're getting in the turn.
Now, notice now, "The gifts and calling without repentance," that's the only way that I could Scripturally place my calling in the Lord. And trusting that I'm with friends tonight who will surely understand this and not think it's personal, but that you might have an understanding and know just what the Lord has said that He would do, and find something moving and then follow in it.
Now, in the beginning, the first thing that I can ever remember is a vision. The first thing that I can recall to my mind is a vision that the Lord gave me. And that was many, many years ago, I was a little bitty boy. And I had a rock in my hand.
Now, I beg your pardon, I can remember when I was wearing a long dress. I don't know whether you (any you all) old enough to remember when little boys used to wear long dresses. How many in here remembers when children wore, yes, long dresses? Well, I can remember, in my little old hut there where we lived, I was crawling on the floor. And it was someone, I don't know who it was, come in. And Mama had worked a little blue ribbon in my dress. And I was just barely able to walk. And I was crawling then, and I stuck my finger in the snow on their feet, and was eating the snow off his foot standing by the side of the fireplace, getting warm. I remember my mother jerking me up for it.
And then the next thing I remember, must have been about two years later, I had a little rock. And that would make me about three years old, and my little brother then would just a-been about not quite two years old. And so we were out in the back of the yard where there was just an old chip yard where they used to bring the wood up and chop the wood. How many remembers them days when you used to pull the wood up in the back yard and chop it? Why did I wear a tie even tonight? I'm right at home.
Then when they... Out there in the old chip yard there was a little branch that run down there, come from the spring. Had an old gourd dipper up there at the spring where we'd dip our water and put it in the old bucket, old cedar bucket, and bring it down.
I remember the last time I seen my little, old grandmother before she died, she was one hundred and ten years old. And when she died, I picked her up in my arms and held her like this just before she died. She put her arms around me, and said, "God bless your soul, honey, now and forever," when she died.
And I don't think the woman ever owned a pair of shoes of her own, in her life. And I remember watching her, and even when I was a young man would go down and see them, every morning she'd get up, bare-footed, and go through that snow up to the spring, get a bucket of water and come back, her feet right in that. So it don't hurt you, she lived to be a hundred and ten. So (yes, sir) she was very, very rugged, too.
So then I remember she was going to tell me about my father's marbles that he played with when he was a boy. "And that poor old thing," I thought, "how's she going to get up in that attic?" A little, old two-room shack, and it had an attic up there. And they had two saplings cut, and a ladder made, to go up. Well, I'd think...
Well, now, she said, "Now, after dinner I'm going to tell you, show you your daddy's marbles."
And I said, "All right."
So she was going to show them to me, in a trunk upstairs where she had her stuff put away like the old folks do. And I thought, "How in the world is that poor old thing going to get up that ladder?" So I got around there and I said, "Grandma," I said, "now, wait, honey, I'll get up here and help you."
She said, "Stand aside." Up that ladder she went like a squirrel. She said, "Well, come on!"
And I said, "All right, Grandma."
I thought, "Oh, my, if I can just be like that, that much of strength in me yet at a hundred and ten years old!"
Now, then I remember being at this little old spring, and I had a rock and was throwing it down like that, in the mud, trying to show my little brother how strong I was. And there was a bird sitting up in the tree and he was just chirping, tearing around, a little old robin or something. And, the little robin, I thought he spoke to me. And I turned and listened, and the bird flew away, and a Voice said, "You're going to spend a big part of your life near a city called New Albany."
That's three miles from where I was raised. Went, about a year later, to the place, having no idea of ever going, New Albany. Along through life, how those things...
Now, look, my people was not religious. My father and mother did not go to church. Before that, they were Catholic.
My little nephew sitting in here somewhere tonight, I guess, I don't know. He's a soldier. I'm praying for him. He's Catholic himself, still Catholic. In this last meeting when he was here, he saw those things of God, when he was standing right there at the platform. He said, standing there, and he said, "Uncle Bill?" He had been overseas for a long time, said, "When I seen that..." Said, "That don't happen in the Catholic church." He said, "That... I believe, Uncle Bill, you're right," he said.
And so I said, "Honey, it isn't me right, it's Him that's right. See, Him that's right." And so he said he... I said, "Now, I'm not asking you to do nothing, Melvin, but just serve the Lord Jesus Christ with all your heart. You go anywhere you want to. But be sure that in your heart that Jesus Christ has been born anew, see, in your heart. Then you go to any church you want to after that."
Now, but the people before me were Catholic. My father's Irish and my mother was Irish. The only break there is in the Irish blood, my grandmother was a Cherokee Indian. My mother is just about a half- breed. And so then I... to me, it's my... our generation, after three it's done faded out. But that's the only break in being strictly Irish, Harvey and Branham was the name. And then behind that was Lyons, which is still Irish. And then they was all Catholic. But myself, we had no religious training or teaching at all, as children.
But those gifts, that visions, I saw visions right then just the same as I do now, that's right, because gifts and callings are without repentance. It's the foreknowledge of God, God doing something. Down through life I was afraid to say anything about it.
You've read my story in the little book called Jesus Christ The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. I think it's in some of the books, these others. Is that right, Gene? Is it in this, the regular book, in the book we have now? Is it, Life Story? I think it is. Then we had... Ain't that awful? My own books, and I never read them myself. But somebody else writes them, so then there's just something they take in the meeting. I've been through that, so I'm looking for something else always to happen. So, then, they're fine, I've read parts of them now, here and there, just as I get a chance.
And now, anyhow, as a little boy, you know the vision how it spoke to me, I was about seven years old, He said, "Don't drink or smoke or defile your body in any way, there'll be a work for you to do when you get older." And you've heard that told in the book. Well, that's right. All along it kept happening. When I become a minister, well, then it really started happening all the time.
And I one night saw our Lord Jesus. I'm saying this with permission, I believe, from the Holy Spirit. The Angel of the Lord that comes is not the Lord Jesus. It doesn't look like Him in the same vision. For, the vision I saw of the Lord Jesus, He was a little Man. He wasn't... I had been out in the field, praying for my dad. And I come back in and I went to the bed, and that night I looked at him and I said, "O God, save him!"
My mother had already been saved and I baptized her. Then I thought, "Oh!" My dad drank so, and I thought, "If I could just get him to accept the Lord Jesus!" I went out, laid down on a little old pallet out in the front room, near the door. And Something said to me, "Rise up." And I raised up, went walking, and went back into the field behind me, an old broom sage field.
And there, standing not over ten feet from me, stood a Man; white garment on, a little fellow; had His arms folded like this, a beard, kind of short; hair down to His shoulders; and He was looking sideways from me, like that; peaceful-looking figure. But I couldn't understand it, how His feet, one just behind the other. And the wind blowing, His robe moving, sage blowing.
I thought, "Now, wait a minute." I bit myself. I said, "Now, I'm not asleep." And I pulled down, pulled a little piece of that sage off, you know, got it like a toothpick in it. I put it in my mouth. I looked back towards the house. I said, "No, I was in there praying for dad, and Something said come out here, and here stands this Man."
I thought, "That looks like the Lord Jesus." I thought, "I wonder if it is?" He was looking just exactly, directly towards where our house sets now. So I moved around this way to see if I could see Him. And I could see the side of His face like that. But He... I had to turn way around this way to see Him. And I said, "Uhm!" Never moved Him. And I thought, "I believe I'll call Him." And I said, "Jesus." And when He did, He looked around like that. That was all I remember, He just reached out His arms.
There's not an artist in the world could paint His picture, the character of His face. The best I've ever seen is that Hofmann's Head of Christ at Thirty-three, I've got it on all literature and everything I use. That's because that looks just like it, and so then... or pretty near, as close as it could be.
He looked like (a Man) if He'd speak the world would come to an end, and yet with so much love and kindness till you... I just pitched over. And at daylight, I found myself just in the break of day, pajama shirt soaking wet with tears, when I come to myself, walking, back through the broom sage field, home.
I told it to a minister friend of mine. He said, "Billy, That'll run you crazy." He said, "That's the Devil." He said, "Don't you fool with nothing like that." I was a Baptist minister at the time.
Well, I went over to another old friend of mine. I set down and told him about It. "Now," I said, "Brother, what do you think about That?" He said, "Well, Billy, I'll tell you." He said, "I believe if you'd try to keep your life, just preach what's in the Bible here, the grace of God and so forth, I wouldn't go off after some fantastic thing, something like that."
I said, "Sir, I don't mean to go off after some fantastic thing." I said, "Only thing I'm trying to find out is what this is."
He said, "Billy, years ago they used to have those things in the churches. But," said, "when the apostles ceased, those things ceased with it." And said, "Now the only thing that we have that... any kind of seeing those things," said, "it's spiritualists, demons."
I said, "O Brother McKinney, you mean that?"
He said, "Yes, sir."
I said, "O God, have mercy on me!"
I said, "I... Oh, Brother McKinney, will you join with me in prayer that God will never let it happen to me? You know I love Him and I don't want to be wrong in these things."
I said, "You pray with me."
He said, "I will, Brother Billy." And so we had prayer right there in the parsonage.
I asked several ministers. The same thing would come. Then I got scared to ask them, 'cause they'd be thinking I was a devil. So I didn't want to be like that. I knowed in my heart something happened. Now, that's all, there was something in my heart that happened. And I didn't want to be like that, never.
So later on in years, I heard one day down at the First Baptist church where I was a member at the time, I heard someone say, "Say, you ought to have went over and heard them holy rollers last night."
And I thought, "Holy rollers?" And a friend of mine, Walt Johnson, bass singer, and I said, "What was that, Brother Walt?" He said, "A bunch of these Pentecostals."
I said, "What?"
He said, "Pentecostals!" Said, "Billy, if you'd ever see that," said, "they was rolling on the floor like that and jumping up-and-down." And said, "They said that they had to jabber off in some kind of unknown tongues or they wasn't saved."
And I said, "Where's that at?"
"Oh," said, "a little old tent meeting out there, the other side of Louisville." Said, "Colored people, of course."
And I said, "Uh-huh."
And he said, "There's a lot of white people there." And I said, "Did they do that, too?"
Said, "Yes, yes! They did it, too."
And I said, "That's funny, and people get mixed up in stuff like that." I said, "Well, I guess we just have to have those things." On a Sunday morning, I'll never forget it. He was eating a piece of dry orange peeling for an indigestion he had, and I can just see it as well as it was yesterday. And I thought, "Jabbering, jumping up-and-down, what kind of religions will they get next?" And so I went on.
Later from that, I met an old man that's here in the church maybe now, or he was here over to the church, by the name of John Ryan. And I met him at a place... The old fellow with long beard and hair, and he may be here. I thought he was from Benton Harbor up here, at the House of David.
And they had a place in Louisville. I was trying to find them people, and they called it the School of the Prophets. So I thought I'd go over and see what that was. Well, I didn't see nobody rolling on the floor, but they had some strange doctrines. And there's where I met this old man, he invited me to come up to his place.
I went up for a vacation. And I was there one day, and I went back to his house and he had done gone, and he had gone somewhere down in Indianapolis. Said, "The Lord called him," his wife. I said, "You mean you let that man run off like that?"
She said, "Oh, he's God's servant!" The poor old thing died a few weeks ago, I heard. And she was devoted to him. My, that's the kind of wife to have! That's right. Right or wrong, he's right anyhow! I said... Well, I knowed they...
Now he... Brother Ryan, are you here? He isn't here. He was the other day, wasn't he, boys?
Well, they just live with what they get a-hold of, and he didn't have nothing to eat in the house. That's right. And I had caught some fish out to a pond, or a lake, in Michigan, and I come back down--and I come back down to the place. And they didn't even have lard in the house, or grease, to cook the fish with. And I said, "He left you without anything in the house?"
Said, "Oh, but he's God's servant, Brother Bill!" Said, "He...
And I thought, "Well, bless your old heart. Brother, I'll stand right by you." That's right. "You think that much of your husband, I'm ready to join up and stand by you for that." That's right. We need more women like that today, and more man thinking of their wife like that. That's right. It'd be a better America if husbands and wives would join together like that. Right or wrong, stay with them. Wouldn't be so many divorces.
So we went to... Then I went on. And on my road home, it was a strange thing, I come down through Mishawaka. And I seen little old cars now, sitting on the street, called... big signs on them said, "Jesus Only." I thought, "What does... `Jesus Only,' that must be religious." And I went over here and here's bicycles had it on it, "Jesus Only." Cadillacs, Model-T Fords, everything, "Jesus Only" on it. I thought, "Well, wonder what that is?"
So I followed it around; come to find out, it was a religious meeting, fifteen hundred to two thousand people there. And I heard all that there screaming and jumping up-and-down, and going on. I thought, "Say, here's where I'll see what holy rollers is."
So I had my old Ford, you know, that I claimed would make thirty miles an hour, fifteen this way and fifteen up-and-down this a-way. So I pulled it over to one side, I... when I got a place to park, and walked back down the street. Walked in, looked around, and everybody standing that could stand. I had to look over their heads. And they were screaming, and jumping, and falling, and carrying on. I thought, "Whew, uhm, what a people that is!"
But the longer I stood there, the better I felt. "That seems pretty good. Well, there ain't nothing wrong with them people. They ain't crazy." I got to talking to some of them, so they were fine people. So I said...
Well, now, that's the same meeting that I went out and stayed all night that night, and the next day I went in. And you've heard me tell that in my life story. I was on the platform with a hundred and fifty, or two hundred ministers, and maybe more, and they wanted everybody to just raise up and say where they was from. And I said, "Evangelist William Branham, Jeffersonville," set down, "Baptist," so, set down. Each one tell where they were from.
So that next morning when I got in there... I slept in the field all night that night, and pressed my trousers between the two Ford seats, you know, and I... old seersucker trousers, little T-shirt, you know. So the next morning I went to the meeting, my little T-shirt on. I had went...
I didn't have but three dollars, and I had to get enough gasoline to get home on. And then I got me some rolls, that kind of old, you know, but I was all right. And I got to a hydrant, got me a glass of water, you know, and doing pretty good. So I had soaked them up a little, and had breakfast. Now, I could eat with them, now, they eat twice a day. But I couldn't put nothing in the offering, so I wouldn't sponge on them.
So then I got in there that morning and said... I just have to tell this part of it. And so got in there that morning, and he said, "We're looking for William Branham, a young evangelist was on the platform last night, a Baptist." Said, "We want him to bring the message this morning." I seen it was going to pull me hard, that bunch of people, me a Baptist. So I just kind of scooted down in my seat. I had on seersucker trousers and a T-shirt; and, oh, we wore clerical... And I set back in the seat like this. So he asked two or three times. And I set down by a colored brother.
And the reason they had their convention in the North, because the segregation was then on in the South. So they couldn't have it in the South.
So I wondered what this "Jesus Only" was about. And I thought, "As long as it's Jesus, it's all right. So it don't make any difference whether it's... how it is, just as long as it's Him."
So I set there a little bit and watched them, and so they called two or three times more. And this colored brother looked over at me, he said, "Do you know him?" I... The showdown was there. I couldn't lie to the man, I didn't want to.
I said, "Look, brother. Yes, I know him."
He said, "Well, go get him."
I said, "Well, I'll tell you, brother," I said, "I am he. But, you see," I said, "look, I... these seersucker trousers."
"Get on up there."
And I said, "No, I can't go up there," I said, "with these trousers on like this with this T-shirt on."
"Them people don't care how you dress."
And I said, "Well, look, don't you mention it. Hear?" I said, "See, I've got these seersucker trousers on, I don't want to get up there."
Said, "Anybody know the whereabouts of William Branham?"
He said, "Here he is! Here he is!"
Oh, my! My face real red, you know; and no tie on, you know; and this little old T-shirt, you know, and little sleeves on like this. And I went walking up through there, with my ears burning. I never been around a microphone.
And so I got to preaching up there, and I took a text, I never will forget it, "The rich man lifted up his eyes in hell, and then he cried." I, a lot of times, preach little three things like that, "Come see a man," "Believest thou this?" or "Then he cried." And I kept saying, "There's no flowers, and then he cried. There's no prayer meetings, then he cried. There's no children, then he cried. No songs, and then he cried." Then I cried.
So after it was all over, why, my, they just... all of them around me, wanting me come hold a meeting for them. And I thought, "Say, maybe I'm a holy roller!" See? So I thought, "Maybe..." See, they was such fine people.
And I walked up out there. A man with a pair of cowboy boots on, and big cowboy hat, I said, "Who are you?"
He said, "I'm Elder So-and-so from Texas."
I thought, "Well, that looked..."
Another fellow walked up with these little bitty knicker-bocker pants on, you know, they used to play golf with, and one of them little bitty jersey sweaters. He said, "I'm Reverend So-and-so from Florida. Would you come hold..."
I thought, "I'm right at home, boy, in these here seersucker trousers and T-shirt. That's just fine."
So, you've heard my life story on those things, so I'll stop here and tell you something that I've never told before. First thing, I want to ask you... I was going to bypass that. I've never said it before in public, in my life. If you promise me that you'll love me and will try to love me as much after I say this as I do before I say it, raise up your hand. All right. That's your promise, I'm going to hold you to it.
Sitting in the meeting that night, when they was singing their songs they clapped their hands. And they'd sing, "I..." That little song, "I know it was the Blood, I know it was the Blood." And they would run up and down the aisles, and everything, and just shouting and praising the Lord. I thought, "That sounds awful good to me." I begin...
And they was referring all the time to Acts, Acts 24, Acts 2:38, Acts 10:49, all that. I thought, "Say, that's Scripture! I just never seen It like that before." But, oh, my heart was a-burning, thought, "This is wonderful!" I thought they was a bunch of holy rollers when I first met them, and I thought, "Oh, my!" Now they're a bunch of "angels." See, I changed my mind right quick.
So the next morning when the Lord had give me this great opportunity to hold these meetings, I thought, "Oh, my, I'll get with this bunch of people! That must be the kind of what they used to call `the shouting Methodist.` Just went a little farther," I thought. "Maybe that's what it is." So I thought, "Well, I'm... I sure like that. Oh, there's something about them I like, they're humble and sweet."
So one thing I couldn't understand was that speaking in tongues, that got me. And I... There was one man, say, sitting here and one over here, and they were the leaders of the group. This one would raise up and speak in tongues, this would interpret it and would tell things about the meeting and so forth. I thought, "My, I got to read that!" So then, vice versa, fall on this and then back on that one; and each one would speak in tongues, interpret. The rest of the church would speak, but it didn't seem like the interpretation come like these two man. Now, I seen they sit close together, I thought, "Oh, my, them must be angels! So while sitting back there...
Ever what that was (you know) that I couldn't make out, It would come on me. And I have a way of knowing things if the Lord wants me to know it. See? And I don't... That's the reason I say I don't breathe this out, never before in public. If I really want to find out anything, the Lord usually tells me about these things. That's what the gift is for, you see. So you can't just throw that out before the people, it becomes like casting your pearls before swine. It's a sacred, holy thing, and you don't want to do that. So, God would hold me responsible. Like talking to brethren and so forth, I wouldn't try to find out something evil about a brother.
One time sitting at a table with a man, him with his arm around me, said, "O Brother Branham, I love you." And I kept feeling something moving. I looked at him. He couldn't have told me that; I knowed he didn't do it, see, 'cause there it was. He was absolutely a hypocrite, if there ever was one, see, and right there with his arm around me.
I said, "Well, okay," walked away. I don't want to know that. I'd rather just know him the way I know him, as my brother, and let it go like that. Let God do the rest of it. See? And I don't want to... don't know, want to know those things.
And many times on these things, it's not here in the church. I'll be sitting in the room, sit in a restaurant, and the Holy Spirit will tell me things that's going to happen. People's right here that knows that to be true. I'll set at my home and I'll say, "Now, be careful, there's a car coming after a while. It'll be a certain, certain person. Bring them on in, for the Lord has said they'd be here." "When we go down the street, there'll be certain things happen. Watch at that crossing there, because you're going to almost get hit." (And, "Just...?... me that way," see.) Every time, just perfectly! So you don't want to throw yourself too much into that, because you'd... It's... You can use it, it's the gift of God, but you have to watch what you do with it. God will hold you responsible.
Look at Moses. Moses was a God-sent man (do you believe that?), predestinated, foreordained, and made a prophet. And God sent him out there, said, "Go speak to the rock," after it done been smitten. Said, "Go speak to the rock, and it'll bring forth its waters."
But Moses angrily went out there and struck the rock. The water didn't come, he smote it again, said, "You rebels! Must we bring you water out of this rock?"
You see what God did? The water come, but said, "Come up here, Moses." That was the end of it, see. You have to watch those things, so you... what you do with Divine gifts.
Just like a preacher, a good forceful preacher, he get out and preach just to take up offerings and money, God will hold him responsible for that. That's right. You have to watch what you do with Divine gifts. And, or try to make some big prestige or big name for some church, or a big name for himself. I'd rather have two or three nights meeting and braze on somewhere else, and be humble, and stay down. And you know what I mean. Yes, sir, always keep your place where God can put His hand on you.
This is inside Life now, remember.
So then this day, I thought, "Well, I'm going to walk up." And I was just so alarmed at those people, I thought, "I'll find out about those man." And out in the yard I kept looking for them after the service was over. I looked around. I found one of them, I said, "How do you do, sir?"
He said, "How do you do!" Said, "Was you the young preacher that preached this morning?"
I said... I was twenty-three years old then. I said, "Yes, sir."
And he said, "What was your name?"
I said, "Branham." And I said, "Yours?"
And he told me his name. And I thought, "Well, now, if I can just get his contact of his spirit now." And yet not knowing what that was doing it. And I said, "Well, say, sir," I said, "you people have something here that I don't have."
He said, "Have you got the Holy Ghost since you believed?"
I said, "Well, I'm a Baptist."
He said, "But have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?"
And I said, "Well, brother, what do you mean?" I said, "I haven't got what you all got, I know that!" I said, "Because you've got something that seems to be powerful and so..."
Said, "Have you ever spoke with tongues?"
And I said, "No, sir."
Said, "I'll tell you right quick you haven't got the Holy Ghost."
And I said, "Well, if I... If that what it takes to get the Holy Ghost, I haven't got it."
And so he said, "Well, if you haven't spoke with tongues, you haven't got It."
And keeping in conversation that way, I said, "Well, where can I get It?"
Said, "Get on in the room there and start seeking the Holy Ghost."
And I kept watching, you know. He didn't know what I was doing, but he... I knew he had a little strange feeling, 'cause he... his eyes begin to get a little glassy as he looked at me. And he... But he was really a Christian. He was absolutely, rung out one hundred percent, a Christian. That's right. Well, I thought, "Praise God, here It is! I--I've--I've got to get to that altar somewhere."
I went out, looked all around, I thought, "I'll find the other man." And when I found him and started talking to him, I said, "How do you do, sir?"
He said, "Say, what church you belong to?" He said, "They tell me you're a Baptist."
I said, "Yep."
And he said, "You ain't got the Holy Ghost yet, have you?"
I said, "Well, I don't know."
Said, "You ever spoke in tongues?"
I said, "No, sir."
Said, "You haven't got It."
And I said, "Well, I know I haven't got what you all got. I know that." And I said, "But, my brother, I'm really wanting It."
He said, "Well, there's the pool, all ready."
I said, "I've been baptized. But," I said, "I haven't received what you all got." I said, "You got something that I really want."
And he said, "Well, that's fine."
I was trying to catch him, you see. And if I... When I finally got his spirit (now, that was the other man), if I ever talked to a low-down hypocrite, there was one of them! He was living... His wife was a black-headed woman, he was living with a blond and had two children by her. Drink, curse, run to taverns, and everything else, and yet in there and speaking in tongues and prophesying.
Then I said, "Lord, forgive me." I went home. That's right. And I said, "I'll just get a... I can't understand it. Seemed like the blessed Holy Spirit falling, and on that hypocrite." I said, "Can't be! That's all."
During this long period then, me studying and crying, thought if I could get out with them maybe I could find out what it was all about. Here's one, a genuine Christian; and the other one, a real hypocrite. Then I thought, "What of it? Oh," I said, "God, maybe there's something wrong with me." And I said, being a fundamentalist, "That'll have to be that in the Bible. It has to."
To me, everything that operates must come out of this Bible or it's not right. It has to come from Here. It's to be proved in the Bible, not just one place, but it has to come all the way through the Bible. I have to believe it. It has to dovetail and tie together with every Scripture or I don't believe it. And then, because Paul said, "If an angel from Heaven come, preaching any other gospel, let him be accursed." So I believe the Bible.
And I said, "I could never see nothing like that in the Bible."
Two years later, after I had lost my wife and everything, I was up there at Green's Mill, my little old place up there, praying. Been back in my cave back there for two or three days, two days it was. I walked out to get a bit of breath, a breath of air. And when I walked out there, my Bible was laying out there on the end of a log just as you come in. An old tree blowed down, it had a fork in it. And I... It had a fork laying up like this, and the tree laying down. And I just set astraddle that log, and lay out there at nighttime, looking up towards the skies like that, my hand laying up like this, and sometimes go to sleep laying right out on the log like that, praying. Be up there several days, just don't eat or drink, just there praying. And I walked out to get a little fresh air, out of that cave; it was cool, damp back in there.
So then I come out and there laid my Bible where I had had It the day before, and it was turned to Hebrews, the 6th chapter. And I begin to read there, "Let us lay aside... on... go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance and dead works and faith towards God," and so forth. "For it is impossible for those which were once enlightened, made partakers of the heavenly gift, and the callings," and so forth. But said, "But thorns and thistles which is nigh unto rejection, whose end... water... the rain cometh oft upon the earth to dress it and prepare it for that which is nigh unto rejection, with thorns and thistles, whose end is to be burned." And Something went, "Whoooossssh!"
I thought, "Here It is. I'll hear right now whatever... He woke me up here, He's fixing to give me a vision right now." And I waited there on the end of that log, and waited. I got up and walked back and forth, up and down. Walked back, nothing happened. Walked back to my cave again, nothing happened. I stood there, I thought, "Well, what is this?"
I walked over to my Bible again, and, oh, It just come all over me again. I picked It up, and I thought, "What's in there He wants me to read?" I kept reading on down about "repentance towards God, and faith," and so forth, and I read on down where It said, "The rain cometh oft upon the earth to dress it and prepare it for what it's meant for, for here, but the thorns and thistles which is nigh unto rejection whose end is to be burned." And, oh, It would just shake me!
And I thought, "Lord, are You going to give me a vision of what..." I was up there to ask Him for something another.
Then all at once, before me, I seen the world a-rolling, and it was all disked up. And here went a man with white, with his head up, a-sowing Seeds like this. And when he went, coming, just as he went over the hill, here come a man behind him, dressed in black, with his head down, a-sowing seeds. And when the good Seeds come up, it was wheat; and when the bad seeds come up, it was weeds.
And then it come a great drought on the earth, and the wheat had its head hanging over, just about perished, wanting water. And I seen all the people with their hands up, praying for God to send water. And then I seen the weed, it had its head down, bowing for water. And just then the great clouds come across and the rain just gushed down. And when it did, the little wheat that was all bent over went, "Whish," stood right up. And the little weed right by its side went, "Whish," stood right up.
I thought, "Well, what's that?"
Then It come to me. There it is. The same rain that makes the wheat to grow, makes the weed to grow. And the same Holy Spirit can fall in a bunch of people, and can bless a hypocrite just the same as It blesses the others. Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them." Not whether he shouts, whether he rejoices, but "it's by his fruits you shall know them."
I said, "There you are!" "I got it, Lord." I said, "Then that really is the Truth." This man... You could have gifts without knowing God.
So then I--then I was getting too critical on speaking with tongues, you see. But one day, then, how God a-vindicated that to me!
I was baptizing down on the river, my first converts, at the Ohio River, and the seventeenth person I was baptizing, as I started to baptize, then I said, "Father, as I baptize him with water, You baptize him with the Holy Spirit." I started to put him under the water.
And just then a whirl come from the heavens above, and here come that Light, shining down. Hundreds and hundreds of people on the bank, right at two o'clock in the afternoon, in June. And It hung right over where I was at. A Voice spoke from there, and said, "As John the Baptist was sent for the forerunner of the first coming of Christ, you've got a... have a Message that will bring forth the forerunning of the Second Coming of Christ." And it liked to a-scared me to death.
And I went back, and all the people there, the foundry men and all them, the druggist, and all of them on the bank. I had baptized about two or three hundred that afternoon. And when they taken me out, pulled me out of the water, the deacons and so forth went up, they asked me, said, "What did that Light mean?"
A big group of colored people from the Gilead Age Baptist Church and the Lone Star Church down there, and many of those was down there, they begin screaming when they saw that happen, people fainted.
A girl I tried to get out of a boat there, sitting there with a swimming suit on, a Sunday school teacher in a church, and I said, "Won't you get out, Margie?"
She said, "Billy, I don't have to get out."
I said, "That's right, you don't have to, but I'd have enough respects for the Gospel to get out where I'm baptizing."
She said, "I don't have to."
And when she set there snickering and laughing at me baptizing, 'cause she didn't believe in baptizing, so then when the Angel of the Lord come down she pitched forward in the boat. Today the girl's in the insane institution. So you just can't play with God. See? Now, later on... A beautiful girl, went to drinking later on, was hit with a bottle, of beer bottle, cut all of her face down. Oh, a horrible-looking person! And there that happened.
And then all along down through life I'd see that, see that moving, see that visions, how those things would happen. Then, a little later on, It kept bothering me so much, and everybody telling me It was wrong. And I took off to my old stamping grounds, up there where I always prayed through. And I'd... No matter how much I'd keep praying for That not to come to me, It come anyhow. And so I was just... I was--I was game warden in the State of Indiana. And I come in, there was a man sitting there, a brother to my pianist at the Tabernacle. And he said, "Billy, will you ride up to Madison with me this afternoon?"
I said, "I can't do it, I got to go up to the forestry."
And I'd... just coming around the house and taking off my belt, gun belt and things, and rolling up my sleeves. We lived in a little two-room house, and I was going to wash and make ready for my meal. And I had washed, and just walking around the side of the house, under a big maple tree, and all at once Something went, "Whoooossssh!" And I just almost passed out. And I looked, and I knowed it was That again.
I set down on the steps, and he jumped out of his car and run to me, said, "Billy, are you fainting?"
I said, "No, sir."
He said, "What's the matter, Billy?"
And I said, "I don't know." I said, "Just go ahead, brother, that's all right. Thank you."
My wife come out and brought a pitcher of water, she said, "Honey, what's the matter?"
I said, "Nothing, sweetheart."
So she said, "Come on now, dinner's ready," and she put her arm around me, tried to bring me in.
I said, "Honey, I want to tell you something." I said, "You call them up and tell them I won't be out there this afternoon." I said, "Meda, sweetheart," I said, "I know in my heart I love Jesus Christ. I know that I've passed from death unto Life. But I don't want the Devil to have anything to do with me." And I said, "I can't go on like this, I'm a prisoner." I said, "All the time, when this thing keeps happening, and things like that, and these visions a-coming, and so forth like that, or whatever it is," I said..." (It happened to me, I didn't know it was a vision, I didn't call it a vision.) I said, "Them trances like," I said, "I don't know what that is. And, honey, I don't want to fool with it, they tell me it's the Devil. And I love the Lord Jesus."
"Oh," she said, "Billy, you oughtn't to listen to what people tell you."
I said, "But, honey, look at other preachers." I said, "I don't want it." I said, "I'm going to my place in the woods. I got about fifteen dollars, you take care of Billy." Billy was a little bitty boy then, a little bitty fellow. I said, "You take... That's enough for you and Billy to live on, a while. Call them up and tell them I'll may be back tomorrow, and I may not never be back. If I ain't back in the next five days, put a man on in my place." And I said, "Meda, I'll never come out of that woods until God promises me He will take that thing away from me and never let it happen again." Think of the ignorance that a man can be!
And I went up there that night and went back in the little old cabin floor. It was next day, it was kind of late, I was going to go up to my camp the next day, up on the... farther around the mountain, or the hill, rather, and get up in the woods there. I don't believe the FBI could find me up there. So this little old cabin... I had been praying all that afternoon and 'fore it got too dark. I'd pray, was reading over there in the Bible where It said, "The Spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophet." I couldn't make that out. So it got too dark in the little old cabin.
Where I used to trap when I was a boy, had a trap line through there and go up there and fish and stay all night. Just a little old dilapidated cabin sitting over there, been in there for years. Some tenant might have had it before it all come to that.
And so I was just waiting there. And I thought, "Well." Got along towards one o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock in the morning, I was walking up and down the floor, walking back and forth. I sit down on a little old stool there, a little... not stool, a little old box of a thing. And I set down there, and I thought, "O God, why do You do this to me?" I said, "Father, You know I love You. You know that I love You! And I don't want to be possessed of the Devil. I don't want them things to happen to me. Please God, don't never let it happen no more."
I said, "I love You. I don't want to go to hell. What's the use of me preaching and trying, and putting my efforts forth, if I'm wrong? And I'm not only taking myself to hell, I'm misleading thousands of others." Or, hundreds of others, in them days. And I said... I had a big ministry. And I said, "Well, I don't never want it to happen to me again."
And I set down on this little stool. And I just sitting, oh, kind of in this position, just like that. And, all at once, I seen a Light flicker in the room. And I thought somebody was come up with a flashlight. And I looked around, and I thought, "Well..." And here It was, right out in front of me. And old wooden boards on the floor. And there It was, right in front of me. And a little old drum stove sitting in the corner, the top was tore out of it. And right in here there was a Light on the floor, and I thought, "Well, where's that? Well, that couldn't be coming..."
I looked around. And here It was above me, this very same Light, right there above me, hanging right like that. Circling around like a fire, kind of an emerald color, going, "Whoossh, whoossh, whoossh!" like that, just above It, like that. And I looked at That, and I thought, "What is That?" Now, It scared me.
And I heard somebody coming, [Brother Branham imitates someone walking--Ed.] just walking, only, it was bare-footed. And I seen the foot of a Man come in. Dark in the room, all but right here where It was shining right down. And I seen the foot of a Man coming in. And when He come into the room, walked on up, He was a Man about... looked to weigh about two hundred pounds. He had His hands folded like this. Now, I had seen It in a Whirlwind, I had heard It talk to me, and seen It in the form of a Light, but the first time I ever seen the image of It. It walked up to me, real close.
Well, honest friends, I thought my heart would fail me. I... Just imagine! Put yourself there, It'd make you feel the same way. You're maybe farther along the road than I am, may have been a Christian longer, but It would make you feel that way. Cause after hundreds and hundreds of times of visitations, it paralyzes me when He comes near. It sometimes it even makes me... I almost completely pass out, just so weak when I leave the platform many times. If I stay too long, I'll go completely out. I've had them ride me around for hours, not even know where I was at. And I can't explain it. Read down here in the Bible, and It'll explain It, what it is. The Scripture says so!
So I was sitting there and looking at Him. I kind of had my hand up like that. He was looking right at me, just as pleasant. But He had a real deep Voice, and He said, "Do not fear, I am sent from the Presence of Almighty God." And when He spoke, that Voice, that was the same Voice that spoke to me when I was two years old, all the way up. I knowed that was Him. And I thought, "Now..."
And hear it. Now listen to the conversation. I've told it the best that I can, knowingly, word by word, 'cause I'd hardly remember.
He... I said... Looked at Him like that. He said, "Do not fear," just as quiet, said, "I am sent from the Presence of Almighty God, to tell you that your peculiar birth..." As you know what my birth was up there. That same Light hung over me when I was first born. And so He said, "Your peculiar birth and misunderstood life has been to indicate that you're to go to all the world and pray for the sick people." And said, "And regardless of what they have..." And He designated (God, Who's my Judge, knows) that, He designated "cancer." Said, "Nothing... If you get the people to believe you, and be sincere when you pray, nothing shall stand before your prayers, not even cancer." See, "If you get the people to believe you."
And I seen He wasn't my enemy, He was my friend. And I didn't know whether I was dying or what was happening when He was coming up to me like that. And I said, "Well, Sir," I said, "I am..." What did I know about healings and things like that, those gifts? I said, "Well, Sir, I am a poor man." And I said, "I'm among my people. I live with my people who is poor. I'm uneducated." And I said, "And I would not be able, they'd not understand me." I said, "They wouldn't hear me."
And He said, "As the prophet Moses was given two gifts, signs," rather, "to a-vindicate his ministry, so will you given two--so are you given two gifts to a-vindicate your ministry." He said, "One of them will be that you'll take the person that you're praying for by the hand, with your left hand and their right," and said, "then just stand quiet, and it'll have... there'll be a physical effect that'll happen on your body." And said, "Then you pray. And if it leaves, the disease is gone from the people. If it doesn't leave, just ask a blessing and walk away."
"Well," I said, "Sir, I'm afraid they won't receive me."
He said, "And the next thing will be, if they won't hear that, then they will hear this." Said, "Then it'll come to pass that you'll know the very secret of their heart." Said, "This they will hear."
"Well," I said, "Sir, that's why I'm here tonight. I have been told by my clergymen that those things that's been coming to me was wrong."
He said, "You were born in this world for that purpose." (See, "gifts and calling without repentance.") He said, "You were born in this world for that purpose."
And I said, "Well, Sir," I said, "that, my clergymen told me it, that it was the evil spirit." And I said, "They... That's why I'm here praying."
And here's what He quoted to me. He related to me the coming of the Lord Jesus, in His first time. And I said...
The strange thing was, friends... Well, I'll stop right here just for a minute, go back. What made me more scared than ever, every time I met a fortune-teller, they would recognize something had happened. And that would just... it just nearly killed me.
For instance, one day my cousins and I was going down through a carnival ground, and we was just boys, walking along. So there was a little old fortune-teller sitting out there in one of those tents, a young lady, nice-looking young lady, she was sitting there. And we was all going, walking by. She said, "Say, you, come here a minute!" And the three of us boys turned around. And she said, "You with the striped sweater" (that was me).
And I said, "Yes, ma'am?" I thought she maybe wanted me to go get her a coke, or something another like that. And she was a young woman, maybe in her early twenties, or something, sitting there. And I walked up, I said, "Yes, ma'am, what could I do for you?"
And she said, "Say, did you know there's a Light that follows you? You were born under a certain sign."
I said, "What do you mean?"
She said, "Well, you were born under a certain sign. There's a Light that follows you. You were born for a Divine call."
I said, "Get away from here, woman!"
I started moving on, 'cause my mother always told me them things was of the Devil. She was right. So I... That scared me.
And one day while I was a game warden, I was going up on the bus. And I got on the bus. Was always seemed to be subject to spirits. I was standing there, and this sailor was standing behind me. And I was going up to patrol, and I was going up to the Henryville Forestry, was on a bus. I kept feeling some strange something. I looked around in there, and there was a great big heavyset woman sitting there, nicely dressed. She said, "How do you do?"
Said, "How do you do!"
I thought it was just a woman, you know, talking, so I just kept... She said, "I'd like to talk to you a minute."
I said, "Yes, ma'am?" And I turned around.
She said, "Did you know you were born under a sign?"
I thought, "Another one of them funny women." So I just looked on out. And so I never said a word, just kept...
She said, "Could I speak to you a minute?" And I just kept...
She said, "Don't act like that."
I just kept looking forward. I thought, "That isn't gentleman-like."
She said, "I'd like to speak to you just a moment."
I just kept looking forward, and I wouldn't pay any attention to her. Directly I thought, "I believe I'll see if she says like the rest of them." I turned around, I thought, "Oh, my!" That quivered me, I know, because I hated to think that. Turned around.
She said, "Maybe I better explain myself." She said, "I'm an astrologist."
I said, "I thought you was something like that."
She said, "I'm on my way to Chicago to see my boy who's a Baptist minister."
And I said, "Yes, ma'am."
She said, "Anybody ever tell you you were born under a sign?"
I said, "No, ma'am." Now, I lied to her there, see, and I said... just wanted to see what she was going to say. And she said... I said, "No, ma'am."
And she said, "Doesn't... Hasn't ministers ever told you?"
I said, "I don't have nothing to do with ministers."
And she said, "Uh-huh."
And I said... she said to me... I said, "Well..."
She said, "If I tell you just exactly when you was born, will you believe me?"
I said, "No, ma'am."
And she said, "Well, I can tell you when you were born."
I said, "I don't believe it."
And she said, "You were born on April the 6th, 1909, at five o'clock in the morning."
I said, "That's right." I said, "How do you know that?" I said, "Tell this sailor here when he was born."
Said, "I can't."
And I said, "Why? How do you know it?"
Said, "Look, sir." She said, when she begin to talk about this astronomy now, and she said, "Every so many years..." Said, "You remember when the morning star come, that led the wise men to Jesus Christ?"
And I kind of stalled, you know, I said, "Well, I don't know nothing about religion."
And she said, "Well, you've heard about the wise men coming to see Jesus."
I said, "Yes."
And she said, "Well, what was wise man?"
"Oh," I said, "they were just wise men, all I know."
She said, "Well, what is a wise man?" She said, "The same thing that I am, an astrologist, `star gazer' they call them." And she said, "You know, before God does anything in the earth, He always declares it in the heaven, and then on the earth."
And I said, "I don't know."
And she said, "Well..." She called two or three, two... three stars, like Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. It wasn't them, but she said, "They crossed their paths and come together and made.." Said, "There was three wise man that come to meet the Lord Jesus, and one was from the lineage of Ham, and one of Shem, and the other one Japheth." And said, "When they met together at Bethlehem, the three stars that they were from... Every person on earth," said, "they have something to do with the stars." Said, "Ask that sailor there when the moon goes out and the heavenly planet goes out, the tide doesn't go with it and come in."
I said, "I don't have to ask him that, I know that."
And she said, "Well, your birth has something to do with the stars up there."
And I said, "Well, that I don't know."
And she said, "Now, these three wise man came." And said, "When they three stars, when they... They come from different directions and they met at Bethlehem. And they said they found out and consulted, and one was from the lineage of Ham, Shem, and Japheth, the three sons of Noah." And she said, "Then they come and worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ." And said, "When they departed," said, "they brought gifts and put to Him."
And said, "Jesus Christ said in His ministry that when this Gospel has been preached to all the world (Ham, Shem, and Japheth's people), then He would come again." And she said, "Now, those planets, heavenly planets, as they move around..." Said, "They separated. They've never been on the earth since, known. But," said, "every so many hundred years, they cross their cycle like this." (If there happen to be an astronomer here, he might know what she was talking about, I don't.) So when she was talk... Said, "They cross like that." And said, "In commemoration of the greatest gift that was ever given to mankind, when God gave His Son. When these planets cross themselves again, why," said, "He sends another gift to the earth." And said, "You were born on the crossing of that time." And said, "That's the reason I knew it."
Well, then I said, "Lady, the first place, I don't believe anything about it. I'm not religious, and I don't want to hear no more about it!" Walked away. And so I cut her off pretty short. So I went on out.
And every time any... I get around one of them, that's the way it would be. And I thought, "Why does them devils do that?"
Then the preachers, saying, "That's the Devil! That's the Devil!" They had me believing it.
And then that night up there when I... when He referred to that, I asked Him, I said, "Well, why is it all them mediums and things like that, and them devil-possessed people, that always tell me about It; and the clergy that, my brethren, tell me that it's of the evil spirit?"
Now listen at what He said, this One Who's hanging over there in the picture. He said, "As it was then, so is it now." And He begin to refer to me, that, "When the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ begin to take place, the ministers said, `He was Beelzebub, the Devil;' but the devils said, `He was the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel.` Devils... And look at Paul and Barnabas when they was up there preaching. The ministers said, `These men turn the world up-side-down. They're evil, they're the Devil.` And the little old fortune-teller out on the street, recognized that Paul and Barnabas was men of God, said, `They are men of God who tell us the way of Life.`" Is that right? "Spiritualists and soothsayers, demon-possessed people."
But we get so soured down on theology till we don't know nothing about the Spirit. I hope you love me after this. But that's what it is. I mean Pentecost, too! That's right. Just shouting and dancing around doesn't mean you know anything about the Spirit.
It's personal contact, face to face, that's what you need. That's the kind of Church God's fixing to raise up, that's right, when they come together in unity and power, in Spirit.
And He referred to that. And He told me how that the ministry misunderstood It, and assured me that the ministry had misunderstood It. And when He told me all about this and how that Jesus...
I said, "Well, what about this, these things that happen to me?"
And, you see, He said, "That'll multiply and get greater and greater." And He referred to me, telling me how Jesus did it; how that He come and He was possessed with a Power that could foreknow things and tell the women at the well, claimed not to be a healer, claimed to do those things just as the Father showed Him.
I said, "Well, what kind of a spirit would that be?"
He said, "It was the Holy Spirit."
Then something there happened inside of me, that I realized that the very thing that I turned my back on was what God brought me here for. And I realized that it was just like those Pharisees in the days gone by, they had misinterpret the Scripture to me. So from then on I took my own interpretation of It, what the Holy Spirit said.
I told Him, "I'd go."
He said, "I'll be with you."
And the Angel stepped into the Light again that begin to come around and around, and around and around, and around His feet like that, went up into the Light and went out of the building. I went home a new person. Walked over to the church and told the people about it, the... it was on Sunday night.
And on Wednesday night they brought a woman there, one of Mayo's nurses dying with cancer, nothing but a shadow. When I walked down to take ahold of her, there come a vision before her, showed her back nursing again. And she's on the list in Louisville, "been dead for years." There she is at Jeffersonville now, nursing, been nursing for years. For, I looked up there, and I seen that vision. I turned around, hardly knowing what I was doing, standing there, I quivered when they first brought that case and laid it down there. And the nurses and things standing around her, and her laying there, and her face all sunk in and her eyes way back.
Margie Morgan. If you want to write to her, that's 411 Knobloch Avenue, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Or write to Clark County Hospital, Jeffersonville, Indiana. Let her give you the testimony.
And I looked down there. And that first case there, to see here come out, there come a vision. I seen that woman nursing again, walking around, good and strong and healthy. I said, "THUS SAITH THE LORD, `You'll live and not die!'"
Her husband, a very high man in this world's things, looked at me like that. I said, "Sir, don't you fear! Your wife will live."
He called me outside, said... called two or three doctors, said, "You know them?"
I said, "Yes."
"Why," said, "I've played golf with him. He said, `The cancer had wrapped around her intestines, you can't even wash her out with an enema.`"
I said, "I don't care what she's got! Something down in here, I seen a vision! And that Man that told me, said, whatever I seen, to say it and it would be so. And He told me and I believe it."
Praise God! A few days from then she was doing her washing, going around. She weighs about a hundred and sixty-five pounds now, in perfect health.
Then when I accepted, away it went. Then Robert Daugherty called me. And here it went, out down through Texas, across the world.
And one night, on about four or five time out... (I couldn't understand speaking in tongues and so forth. I believed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit, believed the people could speak in tongues.) And one night when I was walking out onto the... in a Cathedral, San Antonio, Texas, walking out there, a little fellow sitting up here begin to speak in tongues like a shotgun firing, or a machine gun, rapidly. Way back, way back there, a fellow raised up and said, "THUS SAITH THE LORD! The man that's walking to the platform is going forward with a ministry that was ordained of Almighty God. And as John the Baptist was sent as the first forerunner of the coming of Jesus Christ, so he packs a Message that will cause the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ."
I like to a-sunk in my shoes. I looked up, I said, "Do you know that man?"
He said, "No, sir."
I said, "Do you know him?"
He said, "No, sir."
I said, "Do you know me?"
He said, "No, sir."
I said, "What are you doing here?"
He said, "I read it in the paper." And usually... That was the first night of the meeting. I looked over there and I said, "How did you come here?"
Said, "Some of my people told me that you was going to be here, `a Divine healer,' and I come."
I said, "Don't you all know one another?"
He said, "No."
Oh, my! There I seen that the very power of the Holy Spirit... Where one time back there I had thought it was wrong, and I knowed that I... This same Angel of God was associated with them people that had those things. Although they had phony and a lot of mix-up and a lot of Babylon in it, but in there was a genuine article. And I seen that it was true.
Oh, years passed by, and in the meetings the people would see the visions and so forth.
One time a photographer caught It in a picture when I was standing down somewhere in Arkansas, I believe it was, in a meeting about like this, the auditorium about like this. And I was standing, trying to explain It. People knew, they would sit and listen, Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and so forth. And then I happened to look, coming in the door, here It come, going, "Whoossh, whoossh!"
I said, "I will not have to speak anymore, for here It comes now." And It moved up, and people begin screaming. Come up to where I was and settled down around.
Just as It was settling down, a minister run up and said, "Say, I see That!" And It struck him as blind as he could be, staggered back. You can look at his picture right there in the book and see it as he staggered back with his head down like that. You can see his picture. And there It settled down. Just the newspaper photographer caught It that time. But the Lord wasn't ready.
And one night at Houston, Texas, when, oh, thousands times thousands of people... We was having eight hundred... eight thousand over at the what-you-call-it, over at the music hall, come back over to the great Sam Houston Coliseum.
And there in that debate that night, when a Baptist preacher said I "wasn't nothing but a low-down hypocrite and an impostor, a religious impostor, and ought to be run out of the city" and he ought to be the one to do it.
Brother Bosworth said, "Brother Branham, would you let something like that happen? Call his hand!"
I said, "No, sir, I do not believe in fussing. The Gospel's not made to fuss, It's made to live." And I said, "No matter how you convince him, he'd go just the same way." I said, "He... wouldn't make him any difference. If God can't speak to his heart, how can I?"
Next day he come out, said, "It shows what they're made out of," the Houston Chronicle. Says, "Shows what they're made out of, they're afraid to take up for what they're preaching."
Old Brother Bosworth come up to me, being way in his seventies then, lovely old brother, put his arm around me, said, "Brother Branham," he said, "you mean you're not going to take that up?"
I said, "No, Brother Bosworth. No, sir. I'm not going to take it up." I said, "It don't do no good." I said, "Just causes fussing when we leave the platform." I said, "I'm holding a meeting now, and I don't want to get things all tore up like that." I said, "Just let him go ahead." I said, "That's all, he's just rattling." I said, "We've had them before, and it doesn't do any good to talk to them." I said, "They'll go right away, holding theirself." I said, "If they once receive the knowledge of the Truth and then they won't receive It, the Bible said they've crossed the separating line and they'll never be forgiven in this world or the world to come. They call It `the Devil' and they can't help it. They're possessed with a religious spirit which is the Devil."
How many knows that's true, that a devil spirit is religious? Yes, sir, just as fundamental as they can be. And so then that didn't go very good when I said "fundamental," but that's true. "Having a form of godliness and denying the Power thereof. That's right. Signs and wonders is what vindicates God, always. And He said it would be in the last days the same thing. And notice!
Old Brother Bosworth, I... he was going to come with me, and he was kind of tired; he come back from Japan, he was going to be here. He's going on to be at Lubbock with me. And so he was... he had a little, bad cold, so he couldn't come on this one, he and his wife. And so he...
All thought he looked like Caleb. He stood there, he said, "Well, Brother Branham," (that very dignified look, you know), he said "let me go do it" and said "if you don't want to."
I said, "O Brother Bosworth, I don't want you to do it. You'd go fussing."
He said, "There won't be one word of fussing."
Now, just before I close, listen to this. He went down there. I said, "If you won't fuss, all right."
Said, "I promise not to fuss."
Around thirty thousand people gathered for that auditorium that night. Brother Wood, sitting over here, was present at the time, and was setting in that auditorium. And I...
My boy said, or... My wife said, "You're not going down to that meeting?"
I said "No. I wouldn't go down there and hear them fussing. No, sir. I wouldn't go down there and listen at it."
When nighttime come, Something said, "Go on down there."
I got a taxicab, my brother, and wife and my children, we went down. And I had went way up in balcony thirty, way high like that, and set down.
Old Brother Bosworth walked out there just like an old diplomat, you know. He had copied off some... He had six hundred different promises of the Bible copied off there. He said, "Now, Doctor Best, if you'll come up here and will take one of these promises and disprove it by the Bible. Every one of these promises is in the Bible, pertaining to Jesus Christ healing the sick in this day. If you can take one of these promises and, by the Bible, contradict it with the Bible, I'll set down, shake your hand, say, `you're right.`"
He said, "I'll take care of that when I get up there!" He wanted the last so he could rub off on Brother Bosworth, see.
So Brother Bosworth said, "Well, Brother Best, I'll ask you one, and if you'll answer me `yes' or `no,'" said, "we'll just settle the debate right now."
And he said--he said, "I'll take care of that!"
He asked the moderator if he could ask him. Said, "Yes."
He said, "Brother Best, was the redemptive names of Jehovah applied to Jesus? `Yes' or `no'?"
That settled it. That was all. I tell you, I just felt something just going all through me. I never thought of that, myself, see. And I thought, "Oh, my, he can't answer! That ties it."
He said, "Well, Doctor Best, I'm--I'm alarmed."
He said, "I'll take care of that!"
Said, "I'm alarmed that you can't answer my weakest question."
He was just as cool as a cucumber, and he knew where he was standing. So then he just set down there with that Scripture.
Said, "Take your thirty minutes, I'll answer after that!"
And old Brother Bosworth set there and took that Scripture and tied that man in such a place till his face was so red you could have struck a match on it, nearly.
He raised up from there, angry, and threw the papers across the floor, got up there and preached a good Campbellite sermon. I was a Baptist, I know what they believe. He never... He was preaching on the resurrection, "`when this mortal puts on immortality,' then we'll have Divine healing."
Oh, my! What do we need Divine healing after we're immortal ("when this mortal puts on immortality," the resurrection of the dead)? He even doubted the miracle that Jesus did on Lazarus, said, "He died again, and that was just a temporary thing." See?
And when he got through like that, he said, "Bring forth that Divine healer and let me see him perform!"
They had a little puddle then. Brother Bosworth said, "I'm surprised at you, Brother Best, not answering one question that I asked you."
And so he got real frantic then, he said, "Bring that Divine healer forth and let me see him perform!"
Said, "Brother Best, do you believe in people being saved?"
He said, "Sure!"
He said, "Would you want to be called a Divine saviour?"
Said, "Certainly not!"
"Neither... That wouldn't make you a Divine saviour because you preached salvation of soul."
He said, "Well, certainly not!"
Said, "Neither does it make Brother Branham a Divine healer by preaching Divine healing for the body. He's not no Divine healer, he just points people to Jesus Christ."
And he said, "Bring him forth, let me see him perform! Let me look at the people he healed today and I'll tell you whether I'll believe It or not."
Brother Bosworth said, "Brother Best, that sounds like another case at Calvary, `Come down off the Cross and we'll believe You.`" See?
And so, oh, man, he really blew up. He said, "Let me see him perform! Let me see him perform!" The moderators made him set down. He walked over there, and there was a Pentecostal preacher standing there, he just smacked him all the way across the platform. And so they stopped him then. (So Brother Bosworth said, "Here, here! No, no.") So the moderators made him set down.
Raymond Richey raised up, said, "Is this the attitude of the Southern Baptist Convention?" Said, "You Baptist ministers, did the Southern Baptist Convention send this man over here or did he come of his own?" They wouldn't answer. He said, "I asked you!" He knew them, every one.
They said, "He come on his own." Cause I know Baptists believe in Divine healing, too. So then he said, "He come on his own."
So then here's what happened then. Then Brother Bosworth said, "I know Brother Branham's in the meeting, if he wants to come and dismiss the audience, very well."
So Howard said, "You sit still!"
I said, "I'm sitting still."
And just then Something come around, begin to whirl around, and I knew It was the Angel of the Lord, said "Rise up!"
About five hundred people put their hands together like this, made an aisle, come down to the platform.
I said, "Friends, I'm not no Divine healer. I'm your brother." I said, "Brother Best, with no..." Or, "Brother Best," I said, "with no disregards to you, my brother, not at all. You have a right to your convictions, so do I." I said, "Course, you see you couldn't prove that, your point, by Brother Bosworth. Neither could you by anybody that's well read in the Bible, that knows those things." And I said, "And as far as healing people, I cannot heal them, Brother Best. But I'm here every night, if you want to see the Lord perform miracles, come on over. He does it every night."
And he said, "I'd like to see you heal somebody and let me look at them! You might hypnotize them with your hypnotism, but" said, "I'd like to see it in a year from there!"
I said, "Well, you'd have a right to check them, Brother Best."
He said, "Nothing but you bunch of numbskull holy rollers believe in such stuff as that. Baptists don't believe in no such nonsense."
Brother Bosworth said, "Just a moment." Said, "How many people out there, in these two weeks meeting here, that's standing in good standing with these fine Baptist Churches here in Houston, that can prove that you've been healed by Almighty God while Brother Branham's been here?" And over three hundred stood up.
Said, "What about that?"
He said, "They're not Baptists!" Said, "Anybody can testify anything, that still doesn't make it right!"
Said, "God's Word says it's right, and you can't withstand that. And the people says it's right, and you can't back that down. So what are you going to do about It?" See, like that.
I said, "Brother Best, I only tell what's Truth. And if I'm truthful, God's obligated to back up the Truth." I said, "If He isn't... If He won't back up the Truth, then He isn't God." And I said, "I do not heal people. I was born with a gift to see things, see it happen." I said, "I know I'm misunderstood, but I can do no more than fulfill the conviction of my heart." I said, "I believe that Jesus Christ raised from the dead. And if the Spirit that comes and shows visions and so forth, if that's questioned, drop around and find out." I said, "That's all." But I said, "But for myself, I can do nothing of my own-self." And I said, "If I tell the Truth, God's obligated to me, to witness that It is the Truth."
And about that time, Something went, "Whoooossssh!" Here He come, coming right down. And the American Photographer Association, the Douglas Studios in Houston, Texas, having the big camera set there (they're forbidden to take pictures), shot the picture.
When they was there to take pictures of Mr. Best, and he said, before I went down there, he said, "Wait a minute! I got six glossies coming here!" He said, "Here, shoot my picture now!" And he put his finger in that old saintly man's nose, like that, said, "Now take my picture!" And they did. Then he drawed his fist and put it up, said, "Now take my picture!" And they took it like that. Then he done like that, to pose for his picture. He said, "You'll see this in my magazine!" like that.
Brother Bosworth stood there and never said a thing. Then they just took the picture of This.
On the road home that night, (Catholic boy took it), he said to this other boy, he said, "What do you think about That?"
He said, "I know I criticized him. That goiter that left that woman's throat, I said he hypnotized her." Said, "I could have been wrong on that."
Said, "What do you think about that picture?"
"I don't know."
They put it in the acid. Here's his picture, you can ask him if you want to. They went home, he set there and smoked a cigarette. Went in and pulled out one of Brother Bosworth, it was negative. Pulled out two, three, four, five, six, and every one of them was blank. God would not permit the picture of His sainted old man standing there with that hypocrite, with his nose, or hand, fist shaking under his nose like that. He wouldn't permit it. They pulled out the next one, and here It was. The man had a heart attack, they said, that night.
And they sent this negative to Washington D.C. It was copyrighted, sent back.
And George J. Lacy, the head of the FBI fingerprinting document, and so forth, one of the greatest there is in the whole world, was brought there and kept two days on it to test camera, lights, everything else. And when we come that afternoon, he said, "Reverend Branham, I've been a critic of yours, too." He said, "And I said it was psychology, somebody said they had seen them Lights and things like that." And said, "You know, the old hypocrite used to say that" (he meant the unbeliever) "`them pictures around, that halo around Christ, around the saints,' he said, `that was just simply psychology.`" But said, "Reverend Branham, the mechanical eye of this camera won't take psychology! The Light struck the lens, or struck the negative, and there It was." And he said...
I submitted it over to them. He said, "Oh, mister, do you know what that's worth?"
And I said, "Not to me, brother, not to me." And so he said...
Course, it'll never come in effect while you're living, but someday, if civilization moves on and Christianity remains, there'll be something happen about this.
So, friends, tonight, if this is our last meeting on this earth, you and I have set in the Presence of Almighty God. My testimony is true. Many, many things, it would take volumes of books to write it, but I want you to know.
How many in here that actually (without the picture) seen the Light Itself standing around where I've been preaching? Raise your hands, all over the building, anybody that's ever seen It. See, about eight or ten hands that's sitting here. You say, "Could they see It and me not see It?" Yes, sir.
That Star that the wise men was following, passed over every observatory and no one seen It but them. They were the only one who saw It.
Elijah was standing there looking at all those chariots on fire, and everything else. And Gehazi looked around, he couldn't see them anywhere. God said, "Open his eyes that he can see." And then he seen them, see. But he was a good boy, standing there looking around, but he couldn't see it. Sure. It's given for some to see, and some not to. And that's true.
But now you that has never seen It, has never seen It, and you that did see It with your natural eye and has never seen the picture, yet the ones that sees the picture has a greater proof than you that seen It with your natural eye. Cause you, with your natural eye, could been mistaken, it could have been an optical illusion. Is that right? But That's not an optical illusion, That's the Truth, where scientific research proves that It's the Truth. So the Lord Jesus has did this.
"What do you think It is then," you say, "Brother Branham?"
I believe that It is the same Pillar of Fire that led the children of Israel from Egypt to Palestine. I believe It's the same Angel of Light that come in the jail and come in to Saint Peter and touched him, and went forward and opened the door and put him out into the light. And I believe that It's Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amen! He's the same Jesus today that he was yesterday. He will be forever the same Jesus.
And while I'm talking about It, that same Light that's on that picture is on... standing not two feet from where I'm standing right now. That's right. I can't see It with my eyes, but I know It's standing here. I know It's settling with-inside of me right now. Oh! If you could only know the difference when the power of Almighty God catches, and how things look different!
That's a challenge to anybody. I wasn't going to pray for no sick people, I was going to make a committal. But the vision's hanging over the people. Uh-huh. God knows it. I ain't going to call no prayer line, I'm just going to leave you sit there. How many of you people don't have a prayer card? Let's see your hand. Somebody that don't have a prayer card, do not have a prayer card?
Colored lady sitting here, I see you had your hands up. Is that right? Just stand up so I can single you out just a minute. I don't know what the Holy Spirit will say, but you're looking at me awfully honest. You have no prayer card? If Almighty God would reveal to me what's your trouble... I'm just doing this for a start, just to get started. Do you believe me to be... You know there's nothing... there's not one good thing about me. If you're a married woman, I'm no more than your husband. I'm just a man. But Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and He sent His Spirit to vindicate these things.
If God will tell me what's wrong with you (and you know there's no way for me to have contact with you at all), will you believe with all your heart? [The sister comments--Ed.] God bless you. Then your high blood pressure has left you. That's what you had. Wasn't that right? Then sit down.
You just believe that one time! I challenge anybody to believe It.
Look here, let me tell you something. Martha, coming to the Lord Jesus. That gift would have never operated... Yet the Father had already showed Him what He was going to do. It would have never operated. But she said, "Lord, I... If Thou would have been here, my brother would not have died." Said, "But I know that even now whatever You ask God, God will give it to You."
He said, "I am the Resurrection and Life, he that believeth in Me though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die. Believest thou this?"
Listen to what she said. She said, "Yea, Lord. I have believed that everything You've said is the Truth. I believe You're the Son of God that was to come into the world." That's her approach, humbly.
You feel different, don't you, lady? Yeah. That's right.
The little lady sitting right there, there next to you, too, suffering with arthritis and a female trouble. Isn't that right, lady? Stand up just a minute, the little lady with the red dress on. You was so close, the vision has come to you. Arthritis, female trouble. Is that right? And here is something in your life (you got a--got a good straight look to you): you got a lot of worry on your life, a lot of trouble. And that trouble is about your loved one, it's your husband. He's a drunkard. He won't go to church. If that's right, raise your hand. God bless you, lady. Go home now and receive your blessing. You're healed, turned light around you.
Man sitting right next, too, in there. You, sir, do you believe with all your heart? You've lost one of your senses, and that's the sense of smelling. Isn't that right? If it is, wave your hand. Put your hand up to your mouth like this, say, "Lord Jesus, I believe You with all my heart." [The brother says, "Lord Jesus, I believe You with all my heart."--Ed.] God bless you. Go now, and you'll receive your healing.
Have faith in God! What do you all think about It, back in there? Do you believe? Be reverent!
There's a lady sitting right back over there in the corner. I see that Light hanging over her. That's the only way I can tell what about it, that Light's hanging. This Light right here is hanging over the lady. May be just a minute, if I can see what it is. Says break... The lady is suffering with a--with a heart trouble. She's looking right to me.
And her husband is sitting next to her. And her husband has got some sickness, he's just been sick, upset, sick. Isn't that right, sir? Raise your hands up if that's true. That's right, it's you, lady, with the little scarf there. The mister, isn't that right? Haven't you been just kind of upset today? You have upset in your stomach, the man. That's right.
You all believe with all your heart, both of you? You accept It? Sir, I tell you, you too, I see (you with your hand up) the habit of smoking. Quit doing that. You smoke cigars, you shouldn't do that, makes you sick. Isn't that right? If it is, wave your hand like this. That's what's upsetting you. It's bad on your nerves. Throw those... nasty thing away and don't do it no more, and you'll get over that and be all right, and your wife's heart trouble will leave her. You believe that? Isn't that right? I can't see you from here, and you know that, but you're carrying cigars on the... in your pocket in the front. That's right. Lay the things out and put your hand over on your wife, tell God that you are through with that kind of stuff, you'll go home well, you and wife will get well. Blessed be the Name of the Lord Jesus!
You believe with all your heart?
This little lady sitting here looking at me here. You on the... there on the front seat here, sitting right here. A little lady with a... looking at me, sitting right there. You don't... You have a prayer card, lady, right here? You don't have any prayer card? Do you believe with all your heart? You believe that Jesus Christ can make you well?
What do you think about It, you sitting next to her? Do you have a prayer card, lady? You don't? You want to get well, too? Wouldn't you like to go eat again like you used to, have the stomach trouble over? Do you believe Jesus heals you now? Stand up if you believe Jesus Christ healed you. You had an ulcerated stomach, didn't you? It's caused from a nervous condition. You've been nervous for a long time. Especially acids and things, or I mean creates acid, and makes sensitive teeth when you belch your food back up in your mouth. That's truth. Yes, sir. It's a peptic ulcer, it was laying in the bottom of your stomach. It burns sometime after eating especially toast with butter on it. Is that right? I'm not reading your mind, but the Holy Ghost is infallible. You're healed now. Go home, be well.
What do you back over in this direction? Some of you over there without a prayer card, raise up your hand. Somebody without a prayer card. All right, be reverent, believe with all your heart. What about up in the balcony? Have faith in God.
I can't do this within myself, it's only His sovereign grace. Do you believe? I can only say as He shows me. As your faith... I say that to shake your faith, and then see which way He will lead me. Did you realize this is not your brother? You're standing in His Presence. It's not me that's doing this, it's your faith operating It. I can't operate It. It's your faith a-doing it. I have no way of operating It. Just a minute.
In this corner I see a colored man sitting there, kind of elderly, with glasses on. You have a prayer card, sir? Stand up on your feet a minute. You believe me to be God's servant, with all your heart? You're thinking about somebody else, aren't you? If that's right, wave your hand. Not because it's me, your brother. Now, you don't have a prayer card. There wouldn't be no way of you ever getting in line, 'cause you ain't got a prayer card. Now, if any of you's got prayer cards, don't raise up, see, 'cause you'll have a chance to come in the line.
But I see that Light just hanging above him. It's never broke to a vision yet. I cannot heal you, brother, I cannot. Only God can do that. But you got faith, you're believing, and there's something that's cause it some way.
If Almighty God will tell this man what's his trouble, will the rest of you receive your healing? There's a man, perfectly stands ten, fifteen yards away from me, I never seen him in my life. He's just a man standing there. If Almighty God will reveal what's wrong with that man, every one of you ought to walk right out here a well person. What more can God do? Is that right?
Sir, it's nothing wrong with you. You're weak, have a little getting up at night, prostates and so forth, but that's not what's your trouble. Your trouble is concerning your boy. And your boy is in some kind of a state institution, and he has a dual personality. Isn't that right? Wave your hand if that's right. That's exactly right.
How many believes now that Jesus Christ the Son of God is standing here? Let's stand and offer praise and receive our healing.
Almighty God, Author of Life, Giver of every good gift, You're here, the same Lord Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever.
And, Satan, you've bluffed these people long enough, come out of them! I adjure thee by the living God Whose Presence is here now in the form of the Pillar of Fire, leave these people! And come out of them, in the Name of Jesus Christ!
Every one of you raise your hands and praise God, and receive your healing, everyone. [Congregation praises God - Ed.]