Having brought our story of the life and ministry of Bro. William Marrion Branham through the W.W. 2 years. and into the year 1946. in our last issue: we want to pick up in that same year, and continue from there.
FIRST HEALING CAMPAIGN
After the healing of Betty Daugherty, the people of St. Louis, Missouri, where she lived began to gather around Bro. Branham, but he had to withdraw himself, promising them he would return later. News traveled very quickly, and in just no time hardly, he was getting calls from all over, asking him to come for meetings. His first healing campaign was right back in St. Louis, beginning on June 14, 1946, where many outstanding healings took place. He started the first service by explaining to the people how God had dealt with his life and what He had done for him. In that campaign crippled people were healed, blind received their sight, an insane woman was restored to normal, a cancer victim was healed, and a woman that had been paralyzed in her right side for about a year was healed. Of the blind that received their sight was a colored minister that had been blind for about twenty years. Also there were many deaf that received their hearing after prayer, and demonstrated that they could hear. That campaign continued until June 25, with Bro. Branham praying for those that came for prayer until 2 o’clock in the morning on more than one occasion. This kind of demand upon him kept him going at such a pace for the next many months following. Just as we mentioned in the beginning, many times the Lord would show him in advance certain outstanding cases and when Bro. Branham would then see conditions and circumstances exactly as they were in the vision, he would pronounce the healing done. This was done to prove that this man truly was a prophet of God. You could call him a seer, but it was God’s way of vindicating his calling. Doors opened to him throughout this great land, and even outside the United States as the testimonies were spread far and near.
WHY TEACH DOCTRINES?
Pentecostal congregations both trinity and oneness received him gladly, and even many funda-mental churches opened their doors to him. But like always when God does something out of the ordinary, even divine healing was fought, and they who believed in it were persecuted by many of those fundamentalists groups. Nevertheless, to me, this was God’s way of introducing His messenger to the age and bringing him upon the scene at just the right time. The Pentecost-al people were split into two separate camps, and their differ-ences were pushing them farther and farther apart. They no longer had the same hunger and zeal for God, that the century started out with. The trinity side of Pentecost held basically the same doctrine as the Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans and such. But the other side of Pentecost did have to their favor a revelation of the oneness of God, and of scriptural water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Both groups were growing, and they all believed in the gifts of the Spirit, and in speaking in tongues as the initial evidence when receiving the Holy Ghost. Both groups had more light than those old line denominations, those fundamental groups that had represented Christianity until that hour. But they majored just on the supernatural display of the manifestations of the Spirit of God like you read in the book of Acts. They felt that they had returned to the likeness of the early church, but what they failed to see was that the church in the book of Acts was not just a bunch of people preaching the supernatural power of God. They also believed every scriptural doctrine upon which the plan of salvation is founded. Those men that wrote the Bible were not theologians; they were men full of the Holy Ghost, and also a true revelation of the plan and purpose of God. They wrote as they were inspired of God; therefore nothing was written in vain, and there is no double standard, allowing some to believe one thing and others something else. But how were all the true people of God that were scattered among so many different beliefs ever going to come to unity of the faith whereby they would all believe the same thing? That is why there had to be a church age messenger. Even today, after that messenger has delivered his message and entered into his rest, the world of religion is still full of people who will say, “But doctrines divide, and the Bible says we are supposed to be in unity.” Do you see where they have missed it? Doctrines are supposed to divide; that is how God separates His true people from all the rest. But you can rest assured, true Bible doctrines will never divide the true people of God. Doctrines were meant to separate Christianity from Judaism, and from paganism. But the devil was allowed to take those doctrines and dilute them, and turn them into rituals and creeds, and cram them down the throats of innocent souls who were afraid not to partake of them. Even through the years of reformation coming out of the Dark Ages, fear tactics were still used on people to keep them in line. That reminds us of something Jesus spoke upon one occasion. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) Bro. Branham was sent to this age to reveal the truth to thousands of souls in bondage. He was anointed with God’s power to get the attention of the people, but time itself proved that he also had a message from the throne of God to deliver to them. As he traveled through the west in various meetings, there were two different occasions where the Spirit of God spoke through someone concerning this man’s call to take a message to the world that would forerun the second coming of Christ.
A SATANIC CHALLENGE
In a meeting out on the west coast, a man and his wife who had been in Pentecost for several years came to Bro. Branham with this story. A number of years before, they were sitting at the breakfast table one morning, and one of them spoke a message in prophecy saying, “And it shall come to pass that I will bring my servant up the west coast in the latter days. and William Branham will be his name.” (Back then William Branham had not been introduced to anyone. He was still just a little fellow here in this area. They wrote those words on an old brown piece of paper, and put it in an old trunk. The years passed. and then Bro. Branham is there in a meeting, and these folks felt led to attend. When they heard the name of the evangelist, they looked at each other, and one said. What was the name on that brown paper? They went home that night. and when they got the paper and checked it, sure enough, the name was the same as what this name sounded like to them. So the next night when they got the opportunity to speak to Bro. Branham, they asked him how he spelled his name. and when he told them, they showed him the prophecy. Brothers and sisters, these things do not just happen without a purpose. God was introducing his church age messenger. and vindicating him with certain gifts and signs which many have tried to duplicate since. Some of them do a pretty good job of imitating. but none of them have ever been able to produce the same results, None of them could challenge the devil as he did, and always make a fool out of him. Do you know why? Simply because they did not have all that they claimed to have. Take for instance, the time in Portland. Oregon, Nov. 1947, when on the third night of his meetings there with a packed auditorium, just as he began to speak, a strange occurrence took place. Following the little chorus “Only Believe,” Bro. Branham’s opening remarks were “Yes, All things are possible to him that believeth. There is nothing that can stand before faith in God, and if the people here tonight will believe God with me. We shall see that God will honor that faith and confirm it before the eyes of this entire congregation.” Little did he realize just how quickly those words would be put to the test. For about that time a man from way in the back was seen coming very quickly to the platform, muttering something as he went. Those that observed him just thought that perhaps someone had fainted, or something like that at first. But as he came near the front a demonic grin on his face became very obvious. He went right up onto the platform, and toward Bro. Branham, and by this time he could be heard cursing and accusing him. You are of the devil. and you are deceiving these people,” he shouted, “You are an imposter. a snake in the grass, a fake, and I am going to show these people that you are!” It was a time of great tension for everyone present, but very quickly a decision was made to motion the officers back and allow Bro. Branham to handle it. Very softly, but very determinedly, Bro. Branham could be heard rebuking the evil power that possessed the man. Then came these words, “Satan, because you have challenged the servant of God before this great congregation, you must bow before me. In the name of Jesus Christ, you shall fall at my feet.” After repeating this a number of times, the man was seen starting to tremble. Great beads of perspiration broke out on his face as he made one final attempt to carry out his threats, but then he suddenly slumped to the floor in front of Bro. Branham, whimpering and crying, completely defeated. He was known in that area as a man that had been arrested at other times for causing disturbances and breaking up religious meetings, but this time. he had found one he could not break up. Bro. Branham continued the service as though nothing had happened, but all who observed what took place there, knew for certain that God was a reality in the life of that little man standing there. Needless to say, that after that, his name was broadcast far and wide. Pentecostal preachers from across this whole nation began to come and investigate, and the invitations for him to come to their area kept coming. There is just no possible way to record everything that we know about how God worked through him in those days: we can only give a little profile, enough to show why we believe this man was a messenger to the age of Laodicea. Because it is a fact that the Pentecostal church world makes up the age of Laodicea. They are the exemplifiers of the spirit of Laodicea.
The church at Laodicea, to which the seventh letter was sent by the apostle John, represented a certain spirit. The spirit that caused them to conduct themselves as they did would also identify with a certain age of time within the dispensation of grace. and we are now living in that age of time. Notice Revelation 3:14-17. what John was instructed to write to them. “And unto the angel (the pastor) of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God: I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would that thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. (Why?) Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. That 17th verse gives you a pretty real description of the attitude of church people in our day, and it has to fall upon the shoulders of the Pentecostal ranks, for it was the move of God among them that marked the beginning of this age. The living Christ is locked on the outside, for there is no room for Him in their great manmade programs. Therefore verse 20 is an invitation to individuals who will open the door to their heart and let Him come in. Notice, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, (any man) and open the door, I will come in to HIM, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Laodicea (in Asia Minor) was a city of commerce; thereby giving the people of that city access to every advantage in a material sense, that commerce and trade affords. This eventually caused them to give themselves over to material excesses, and those of the church became lukewarm about the things of God. All their former zeal had been swallowed up by materialism. For this reason John, in 96 A.D., was instructed by the Lord to write a letter of rebuke and warning, and admonition. Those same conditions are hanging over this age, and that same spirit is behind it all. Pentecost started out with the power of God, around the turn of the century. But as we called to your attention in the early part of this message, they started in obscurity; on the other side of the tracks, so to speak. Back then. they would just take any kind of old building, just to get in out of the elements, and they did not always do that. They were so hungry for God, it did not really matter whether they had a building or not. All of that has changed since W.W. 2, for now they are in the race with all the rest, with their attention on material things. Some of them are putting up buildings that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they feel that they must have the very best of everything that money can buy, not only in the church, but wherever they are. Their philosophy is; God wants His people to have the best. That includes fine homes, fine cars, the latest fashions in clothing, and all that anyone else may have. But you listen to me; Saints, the spirit of this age has captured them. It is true that God does not require His people to stay, or be poor, but I will guarantee you one thing; it is the condition of the temple of your soul that He is most concerned about. These natural buildings are going to burn one of these days, but He desires that the temple of your body, which is the temple of God, if you are His child) be a clean place, free from all of this world’s filth and corruption.
DENOMINATIONAL PENTECOST IS LAODICEA
God does not care for us having nice things in this life if we handle them properly, but when you place importance upon material things and allow them to occupy your thoughts, you are out of the will of God. How can He have first place in your life, if your whole life is involved with material matter? I cannot help but notice how these Pentecostal preachers dress, especially on television broadcasts. They make it look like movie stars do not know how to dress. Then to top it all off, here comes one with a puppet show. Can you just imagine Paul going to Rome with a bunch of puppets? Can you possibly visualize the apostle Peter taking along a trunk full of puppets when he went to the house of Cornelius? On top of everything else. they do not even know the difference between Holy Ghost singers, and singers of the world. I tell you the truth, most of what is going on in the ranks of Pentecost in this hour , is an abomination to God. They will use anything and any one, in order to put on a show that will draw a big crowd and give them an opportunity to take a big offering, and sign up a lot of folks for large pledges. It doesn’t matter to them what a person looks like, nor where they come from; if they have talent, they will use it to promote their man made programs. That is why I say, Whether they like to hear it or not, Pentecost today with her commercialized gospel, is what makes up the age of Laodicea. They have had greater access to the word of God, and a greater display of the power of God that should have kept them under the leadership of the Holy Ghost, But not so. When they reached a certain point, they started commercializing the gospel. They came out of their store front buildings, their old chicken houses, and cellars, and moved on to the thoroughfares, into their fine buildings, and God had to take a back seat. He could no longer lead them: for they knew what they wanted to do. That is exactly why God had to send a prophet messenger to this age. Otherwise. the whole thing would have wound up in destruction. But according to God’s plan. the message of the messenger has called, and still is calling souls out of these circles, and into a revelation of truth whereby they may be perfected and made ready for the rapture. While at the same time, the whole of Pentecost is heading straight for the tribulation. They make big talk about the rapture, and about going to the marriage supper of the Lamb. but the truth is. they cannot pursue their present course. and then receive those privileges and benefits that God has reserved for His obedient children. You just simply cannot reject the word of God, and still have a right to partake of the benefits that are provided for those who believe and obey it.
HOUSTON TEXAS 1950
The next thing we will mention of the life of Bro. Branham took place in Houston, Texas, I believe it was the first of the year 1950. During the campaign there, people from various churches attended, like always. As they sat there witnessing the power of God being demonstrated and preached, their faith was stirred, and several people from a certain Baptist congregation had been healed during those services. That got their pastor all riled up, and he decided to do something about it. He began warning the people to stay away from that place. He told them it was of the devil, and that they were being deceived. The people kept attending, and Bro. F. F. Bosworth spoke in many of the day services where people were healed. This Baptist preacher opposed Divine healing, and denounced the remarks of Bro. Bosworth concerning it, and publicly issued a challenge to him to debate the subject. He also hired professional photographers to take pictures while he was working this evangelist over. One picture was taken of Bro. Branham along towards the end when he was speaking, just before the service closed. That night, when one of the photographers went to his darkroom to develop and process the pictures, the only picture that turned out was the one he snapped of Bro. Branham, and it was a very unusual picture. Most of you have probably seen the picture with the halo of light above his head. This is where it was made. Even though Mr. Ayers, the photographer, was working for the hostile preacher, he was so impressed with the unusualness of this picture, he took it to Bro. Branham, for him to see. Bro. Branham calmly replied, I am not surprised. This sort of thing has happened before. He then told him of other instances where this light had showed up in photographs of himself. This particular picture was then sent to a laboratory where scientific examination and tests confirmed the fact that the negative had not been tampered with, and that it had definitely been exposed to such a light as showed up over Bro. Branham’s head. They all knew there was no such natural light present: therefore it became obvious that God had allowed this supernatural light to be photographed. Now those who believe the Bible, have no reason to doubt such a thing, for did not Jesus Christ first appear to Saul (the apostle Paul) as a great light? (Acts 9:3-7) Naturally we could never say enough to convince some people that God was with that little man, in an extraordinary way, but our testimony is not to unbelievers, it is to believers who will receive it. Furthermore let me say this, Even though he was accused of it, Bro. Branham never claimed that he himself had the power to heal anyone. He always made a point to give glory to God for doing the healing.
PRAYER FOR FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE
While Bro. Branham was still in those meetings in Houston, Texas, he received word of a woman by the name of Florence Nightingale, who lived in South Africa, that was dying with tuberculosis, and was asked to come and pray for her. At that time, arrangements were being made for the Branham party to go into Finland, so instead of him going directly to South Africa to pray for her, arrangements were made for her to meet them in London, England, where they landed in London, Bro. Branham was already being paged by those who had brought her there. He was taken to a hotel room, where he saw the young lady lying on a stretcher, nothing but skin and bones, and in much pain. A preacher from the state church of England had accompanied them as well as a nurse. Bro. Branham kneeled down beside the sick woman and began to pray for her. Then as he was finishing his prayer, the minister from the state church looked toward the window, and saw a white dove light on the window sill and coo. It startled him, and when Bro. Branham finished praying, the man said to him, Did you see that dove? To him the dove was a sign that something was taking place. But before he hardly got through speaking, Bro. Branham said, Thus saith the Lord, you will live and not die. Eight months later he received a picture of the woman, completely healed, and weighing 155 lbs. Bro. Branham also was called to come and pray for King George of England who was sick. But did not the angel tell him that he would pray for royalty? He went on to Finland, and the meetings there were a great success. But there was one incident that stood out above all the rest, so we will speak of it.
DEAD BOY RAISED TO LIFE
About a year and a half before they went to Finland, Bro. Bran-ham had been shown a vision of a little boy that had been killed in an automobile accident. But in the vision, he saw himself kneeling beside the boy praying for him, and he was raised up and restored to life. He did not know where this was, in the vision. But while they were traveling by automobile there in Finland, they came around a curve in the road and there it was. Cars were sitting everywhere, and they could tell that there had been an accident, so they got out of their car and made their way to where the people were gathered, intending to ask someone what had happened. As they got near enough to see a person lying there. Bro. Branham recognized him as the little boy in his vision. So he turned to one of those who were with him, and said, Remember the vision I spoke of about a year and a half ago? About seeing this little boy that had been killed in an automobile accident? This is the one. He kneeled down there beside that little boy, in a foreign land, with strangers all around, and started praying for that little fellow. God raised him up, and restored him to life just like the vision showed. Now you would expect a story like this to have a happy ending, and perhaps it will eventually, but in 1973, when my wife and I were in Helsinki, Finland, we were privileged to meet, and talk with a man who attended the church where at one time, that same boy attended. He told us that, now that he is a grown man, he is not even living for God. It is sad, but listen to what happened. Evidently, the boy grew up having great confidence in the man who had prayed for him. But the officials of the church he grew up in, began to hear about how Bro. Branham baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and that he preached one God instead of the holy trinity they believed in. Therefore they told this young man not to have anything to do with this man, William Branham for his teaching is of the devil. This severed the young man’s contact with reality, and broke his heart. The church he was attending had nothing to offer, so there was nothing left for him, but to turn to the world. I did not have the opportunity to meet the young man, to talk with him, and naturally we know that in the almost nine years since we were there in 1973, God could have very well gotten his attention again; but nevertheless it is sad to see how the devil is able to sidetrack folks, just because of some religious idea. He keeps things all tangled up in the minds of a lot of people, but one thing is sure, he cannot ever defeat the plan and purpose of God. Neither did this particular incident change God’s purpose for sending His servant into Finland.
ONE SERVICE IN NORWAY
Leaving Finland, Bro. Branham and his evangelistic party were to pass through Norway. Arrangements had been made to have a meeting in Oslo. But the government authorities, knowing that this man was coming, issued a decree that would forbid him from praying for the sick, or we will say, he would not be allowed to practice divine healing there. Some of the Christians that were going to attend, got together and circulated a petition which they presented to the authorities saying, Such a decree is outrageous; he is only going to be here for one service. At least he should be shown some respect. Then they agreed that he could have a mass prayer for the sick, but he was not to exercise the gift. Bro. Branham delivered a sermon, and then just prayed a mass prayer according to their wishes. Saints: Man can be held within certain limits, but there is no way to limit God when faith reaches out to Him. For in 1972, we were in Lillehammer, Norway, and the man who was the manager of the campground where the convention was held, and was also the pastor of a Baptist church there, found out that I knew Bro. Branham, so he asked me to speak in his church, and he also told me a testimony concerning that time in 1950, when Bro. Branham passed through Oslo. He had attended that service, and at that time, he was troubled with some kind of a skin disease that doctors had not been able to clear up for him. His hands itched constantly, would break open, and stayed raw and irritated. He had already done all that he knew to do, but they remained like that. He said, “I was sitting far back in the audience that night when Bro. Branham preached, and then prayed for the whole congrega-tion. -In my heart I said, Lord: You know my condition. Then I just raised my hands, and about that time something struck me. My hands immediately began to heal.” He showed me his hands, and they were clean and smooth. That just shows that God will meet faith wherever He finds it, and He will do it regardless of circumstances. Furthermore, you can find many healing testimonies from people who were healed in Bro. Branham’s meetings, but rejected his teaching. Everyone enjoys being healed when they are sick or have some physical defect, but very few of them really have a genuine desire to follow revealed truth after they count the cost. They do not want to follow anything that might separate them from their old friends, and keep them away from many places they enjoy going to. But then, Jesus said only a few would enter into the way that leads to life, and His word cannot fail.
THREE MONTHS IN SOUTH AFRICA
In 1951, arrangements were made for the Branham evangelistic team to go to South Africa, to the area where Florence Nightingale came from. They would close out the last three months of that year ministering in South Africa, in Johannesburg, Capetown, Durbin, and some other areas. Unusual demonstrations of the power of God were manifested in those meetings. In fact, you could probably say, No other continent on this planet has ever experienced more of such than they did. A man from Capetown, by the name of Sidney Jackson, has testified that for weeks, and even the Pentecostals, and the Dutch Reformed were literally shook to pieces by the power of God. They brought natives out of the bush country to these services, and when we were there in, (I believe it was 1977) they told how those natives had to be kept separated according to their tribes, for they were still hostile toward each other, but God literally healed great numbers of them. If books could be written of all the testimonies that came out of that South Africa campaign, they would fill the libraries of the land. But now, 30 years later, only a few souls from among those multitudes are even trying to follow the teachings of Bro. Branham, and they are so divided by all of the quotes that have been crammed down their throats, that it is just like here in America. Carnal minded characters, quoting statements from Bro. Branham’s sermons, and adding their own carnal ideas. have been the cause of many shipwrecked lives since that time. But according to the parables of Jesus and the words of John, this man’s minis-try was destined to do two things. It was to call the true elect out of denominational systems, and back to the revelated word of God, and it was to give the tare element something exciting to run with. Some of these religious people go to church just like a lot of people will go to every fire they find out about. They do not know how to fight a fire, but they like to stand by and enjoy a certain excitement watching the house burn down. That is exactly how these tares are; they do not know the first thing about true Christianity, and how precious it is to feast upon the revelated word of God; they just want to be where the excitement is. it was the same way with those that followed Jesus; as long as He was casting out devils, healing the sick, and feeding the multitudes, they thought He was the greatest. But what did they do when they looked up one day, and saw Him hanging there on that old cross? They turned away saying. We thought He was the one that would deliver Israel. They dropped all the way from their high plane of excitement, all the way down to a place of deep despair. Are you hearing me? Do you understand what I am saying? Now I assure you, Christianity does have its exciting moments. and it also has some very deep valleys that every true saint will have to walk through, but you can believe me, there is never a reason for hopeless despair if you truly have the Holy Ghost abiding in your life. Brother Branham has been dead 16 years now, and many of those who never missed a service where he was ministering when they could get there, have since thrown up their hands in despair. Well brother, I want you to know that if the Lord tarries His coming until Bro. Branham has been dead for another 16 years, by the grace of God, I will still believe that he was God’s prophet messenger to this age, and that he fulfilled every purpose of God that he was ordained to fulfill. Let me say this also, If you who read these words and profess to be a Christian, and still do not see what Bro. Branham was to this age, it would behoove you to set your face toward reality and stop playing around. Otherwise you will find yourself over in the dark tribulation facing martyrdom at the hands of the Antichrist. This is serious business, and I am persuaded that there is very little time left to play around.
Bro. Branham had just returned from South Africa when God began to work in my life, in the year 1952. This is when God started dealing with my life in a much different way, making me a true believer, and bringing me into contact with Bro. Branham. Therefore at this point, I want to give a little brief introduction of God’s dealing with my own life, and try to bring it up to a point where I can from here on, relate events as I personally saw them, and show the connection of my own life to them. The other books that deal with Bro. Branham’s early life and ministry more or less end with his return from South Africa. But the real depth of his ministry as the messenger to this age, was between then and 1965 when he was killed. That was when he really began to reach out and bring gospel doctrine into the message in a more determined way. Even then, when he would be conducting meetings sponsored by the Assemblies of God, or the oneness, or Methodist and that, he would hold mostly to a salvation message and divine healing, but when he would come back to his own congregation, there is where he really went into the depths of Bible doctrine. That is why all of his major messages were preached right here in Jeffersonville; there was no reason to hold back anything. I have heard him say many times, This is my platform. This is where I am free to preach whatever is upon my heart without someone rising to say, Now wait a minute; we do not allow that here. In other words, those Pentecostal people claim to have the Holy Ghost, and they try to prove it simply by speaking in tongues; claiming that speaking in tongues is the initial evidence of the presence of the Holy Ghost. But according to the words of Jesus, there is something missing from a person’s Holy Ghost experience, if that person still refuses to accept truth from the word of God. Jesus said, When He comes, He will guide you into all truth. He also said, He shall teach you all things. Therefore I say to everyone who may hear or read my words; Do not tell me you have the Holy Ghost, when your very actions prove beyond any shadow of doubt that you do not. If you do not have an ear for truth, you do not have the Holy Ghost, no matter how much you speak in tongues. You may be a Pentecostal preacher, and you may have been one for twenty years, and you may speak in tongues every day, but if you turn your back to the very doctrinal truth of God’s word, I question your Holy Ghost experience. You are deceiving yourself, if you think God is going to accept your traditions in place of Bible truth. Now let me get back to my own personal testimony. In the year 1946, when I was discharged from the service on January 6, no sooner arrived home when God started to deal with me. Nothing happened while I was in the army, but as soon as I got back home, He started working on me. That first Sunday, there in the little Methodist church, the preacher chose for a sermon topic. “Things you will not do in heaven.” First, he said, There are no spittoons in heaven. I did not chew tobacco, but I had that disgusting old smoking habit; I just loved those cigarettes. So his next statement was, And there are no ashtrays in heaven. He hit me that time. (I will relate a little story those preachers enjoyed telling when they preached along these lines. One old farmer asked the preacher, Do you think chewing tobacco will send me to hell? No, I do not believe people go to hell just for chewing tobacco. Then why do you preach against it so much? Simply because you would have to go to hell to spit, the preacher replied, for there are no spittoons in heaven. That is supposed to get the point across. That is the way those preachers are taught to preach.) From that time on, God would not let me rest. Every time I saw a church house, something within me would say. One day, you are going to have to get right with God. I was raised in a good home. I was always taught to be honest and upright, and just the sight of the family Bible there on the nightstand, or on the dining room table, would always bring a fear upon me of what that book represented. I respected it, and thought the dust should be kept off of it, and that people should live by its principles, but that you should not get too involved with it. I did not know much about its contents, but felt that if you let it get hold of you, it would ruin you. That is exactly how I was. I just wanted to be honest and upright in all my dealings, pay my bills, get married one day, have a nice farm, raise a lot of hogs and cattle, and mind my own business. That was my dream. I met my future wife not too long after that, and I want to say again right now, I thank God for the little wife He gave me. She has stayed by my side right on through the years, a lot of you young people are so worried about getting married. Stop worrying about getting married, and give your attention to living true to God. He knows what you need, and He will cause everything to work out right, if you will just give Him time. I actually only went with two other girls before the one I married. After I returned home from the service, my sister began to get after me about not dating anyone, but I was too bashful for that. She finally got me a date with a girl I had gone to school with, but after about the third date, she wrote me a letter telling me not to come back any more, and I didn’t; I was just too bashful. I could get up before a crowd of people, and dance, if I heard a fiddle playing. Or I could play the French harp and dance. As a matter of fact, at the 4th of July picnic, someone would always say, Where is that little Jackson boy? They would want to get me up there. I could always do that, but I was bashful about anything else, and being away from home, in the service had not changed me in that way. My sister wouldn’t give up though, she stayed after me about being all wrapped up in farming, and sitting at home all the time. She then got me a date with a girl that she had gone to school with, but after the 5th date, I wrote her a letter, telling her that I would not be back. I was a farmer interested in farming, and she worked for an insurance agency, and could talk about nothing but her career. She had her mind set on working her way to the top, and that did not interest me whatsoever. I do not know where she is today, nor whether she obtained her goal in life, but I do thank God for the way He has worked in my life.
THE GIRL I MARRIED
Time passed, and in the fall of 1947, my sister got after me again. She then got me a date with the girl I married not too long afterwards. I was so bashful it was pitiful, but we had our first date in the month of September, just before my dad took me to Colorado on a deer hunting trip in October. During the 2 1/2 weeks we were gone, I had time to do a lot of thinking. I thought, as I walked out of a long canyon there one day. Now that girl down there in Harrison County is more my type. She is a farm girl, and she seems to be able to identify with the things that I am interested in. I really think a lot of her! It was 43 miles from where we lived up near Borden, Indiana, down to where she lived at Elizabeth, Indiana, and I had heard people say, that when you really love someone, and for some reason they turn you down, it just about wrecks your life, so I said to myself, When I get back, I am going to ask her to marry me. Now don’t ask me how I ever got the courage to do so; I do not know. But right about the first of November, I asked her the question, and it was a whole month before she gave me an answer, but it was a favorable one, yes. In January, I gave her a ring, and we set the date for June of that year, which was 1948. We were married in June, and besides giving me a sweet little wife, God was also blessing my farming activities, but I still did not know Him personally. We were living with my parents near Borden, and in the month of September, I was down in Harrison County picking corn for my father-in-law, and on Friday evening, Oct. 8, I was on my way back home, going up old highway 31, when just this side of the Memphis, Indiana area, three boys that lived in that area, driving an old 1939 Ford that did not have any sign of a brake on it, and drunk, came right up the highway and plowed into the back of me, on my corn picker. It crushed everything right onto the tractor, turned it sideways, knocked me off, and when it stopped, I was under the front axle of their Ford car, with battery acid pouring down on my new horsehide leather jacket, but I did not know anything about that, for I was knocked unconscious. The elevator of my corn picker had split the front of that car wide open, battery and all. But the amazing thing was, none of that battery acid ever touched my face. My scalp was literally laid wide open from my right eye. That is why I have this scar there, today. A friend of mine came by about that time, and helped pull me out from under the car, and I was taken to the St. Edward’s Hospital in New Albany. Dr. McCauley, a very fine doctor in New Albany, was called to the emergency room to treat me. My heart was just barely beating, and with every beat, they said it seemed like it was trying to jump out of me. The doctor told me later, that I looked so bad, and my heart seemed that it would refuse to go ahead at any moment, therefore it seemed that there was nothing much that could be done, except to clean the wound, pull the scalp together and tie it, and bandage my head, and give me blood plasma. (That was before they started giving blood transfusions.) They gave me shots to combat against shock. They then rolled me into the room and told my wife, they did not see how I could live until morning. But, brothers and sisters: God knew all about the whole thing. When morning came, I was still alive. Then three days later I regained consciousness; that I remember. When they told me what had happened, something inside me began to say, This has happened to bring you to God. That was as clear to me as anything I have ever heard. By this time the doctor was saying that I would likely be in the hospital for two or two and a half months. He first thought I would not live until morning, then, after I did, he thought it might take that long for me to get strong enough to leave the hospital, but thank God, in less than two full weeks from the time of the accident, I was wanting to go home, and in just over two weeks, I was released from the hospital. The doctor said, He is recovering so fast, he may as well be at home as here, if you will take him home, and keep him in, and not let him do anything. Now I am not supposed to be able to move my right eyelid. All those little leaders were severed, and torn away, and no way to rejoin them, so they just closed up the flesh and left them as they were. They told my folks that the only way I would be able to open and close that eyelid, would be with my fingers, but Praise God, in less than six weeks I felt a drawing sensation in it, and today, it opens and closes as normal as any. All glory be to God, for it had to be Him working in it all. Doubters might convince some, but there is not enough doubting demons in the devil’s army, to convince me that God is . not a healer. Anything He has ever done, He is still doing it, but it is not to be commercialized for man’s material profit.
MY SURRENDER TO GOD
Time passed, and I healed and got back to my farming interests, but coming into the spring of 1950, God was really dealing with my heart. It seemed like everywhere I went, and everything I tried to do, it was just like a huge brick wall stood before me, and an inner voice that kept saying, You are not going any further, and you are not going to make any progress, and nothing is going to turn out right, until you get right with God. In the months before that time, I had fought an inward struggle; I could see nothing but despair. Everything was so uncertain, and that inner voice was getting stronger and stronger, until by April, I knew that my next move was to get right with God. We went to this little Methodist church where a meeting was being held, and I had already made up my mind, and settled in my heart with God, that I was going to surrender my life to Him. I said to Him, You know what is ahead, and you know what you want me to do, so tonight when I go to the meeting, I am going forward when they give the altar call. (That is the way the Methodist believed that a person should kneel at the altar, and pray through.) I did not hear one thing that preacher said that night; I was just waiting for the altar call. When he gave it, I went right down there and kneeled before the altar, and said, in my heart, Lord, I don’t know how to pray. I just don’t know what to say, but here I am Lord. If you can do something in me, and give me a know-so salvation, so that I know my sins are forgiven, and if you will take away this desire for these cigarettes, Lord, I will do my best to live for you. Now the Methodist always stressed good measure on everything, so for Methodists good measure’s sake, I added, and Lord, I will do my best to teach your word. Now that was added just for the sake of good measure, but the Lord took me at my word. That same book that I used to keep my distance from, afraid it would get me too involved in religion, has become the most precious book upon the face of the earth, to me. It was raining the next day so that I could do no farm work, so I just stayed in the house. My wife and her mother were hanging some wallpaper in the kitchen, so I picked up the Bible and began to read. The only time I laid it down was to go to the table and eat. After that, any day that I could not work outside, I read and read until my eyes burned; I just couldn’t lay it down. Out of that book, the great eternal God who is the Author of it, began to speak to my heart. He gave me a real appetite for the food that it contained, the only food that can satisfy such an appetite. The more I read, the more that word of God came alive to me. Life took on a new meaning. Everything was different. That feeling of utter despair was gone.
MALACHI 4:5-6. REVEALED
For the sake of time and space. I am going to skip down through the months to a point in time, in the year 1951, when I first began to see something standing out, there in the 1st chapter of Luke, where the angel Gabriel appeared to Zecharias. Being one of the priests whose duty it was to burn incense in the temple, according to his course, he went into the temple for that cause, and standing there by the altar was an angel of the Lord, which said unto him, “Fear not, Zecharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” The angel continued, “He shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Now if you would turn back to the 4th chapter of Malachi, and read verses 5 & 6, you would realize that the angel Gabriel, only quoted half of Malachi’s prophecy concerning the ministry of that Elijah spirit, or anointing. I was just a Methodist at that time, knowing little, except what they taught, but when I read that verse there in Luke, something inside me said, If we are living in the last days, just before the coming of Jesus Christ, then God will finish that quotation, and He will send that spirit of Elijah again. Now I know that a lot of your fundamental theologians believe this scripture applies to the time when those two prophets of Revelation 11 show up in Israel. We know for sure that one of those two prophets will have that ancient Elijah anointing, but that Jewish prophet to the house of Israel cannot fulfill Mal. 4:5-6, for this prophecy is not limited to a genetic setting; it has a spiritual application. When John came upon the scene two thousand years ago, all of Judaea and Jerusalem went out to him, to be baptized, and the scribes and Pharisees sent men to find out why. They wanted to know who John was, and why he was baptizing the people. They were the ecclesiastical fathers, because the Jewish custom was to always address their spiritual leader as a father. Not from a genetic standpoint, but from a spiritual. Therefore John’s part of Malachi 4:5-6, was to turn the hearts of those old ecclesiastical fathers, to that of children; meaning, a new generation of spiritual children, with which God would establish a new covenant, as was prophesied in the Old Testament. He took away the first one, in order that He might establish the second one. Therefore the children in that first advent relationship, Matthew, James, John, and all of them, when they received a new revelation, and were filled with the Holy Ghost, that New Covenant was in effect. They then became the fathers of this New Covenant, this new message. Then before very long, that message was turned over to the Gentiles, and they have carried fragments of it for almost two thousand years since Satan first began to pervert it. Those Pentecostal church fathers of the book of Acts preached and taught a pure revelation, but after 1900 years, it was a far cry from what it started out to be. Therefore in order for God to reap an increase from that which was sown then, it was necessary for the spiritual children in this age of harvesting to be reinstated to that pure revelation taught by their Pentecostal fathers. That is why God sent that God identifying spirit of Elijah in this age, to turn the Gentile church children back to the faith of their fathers, not to the Judiastic fathers, but to the Pentecostal church fathers. Jesus could not come back for a bride that was expecting to see three Gods, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, when she goes to glory, for God is one, and He is Spirit.
Gentiles have made a trinity out of the Godhead, but you will never find anything in the Bible to back up such a teaching, for all of the scriptures teach that God is one. It is just that carnal minded theologians do not know how to interpret what is written therein. God had it written like that, so that it would confound the wise. and the prudent, while at the same time, the Holy Ghost is revealing the truth to people who are not even educated. Praise God! That is what makes this life so precious. Only those whose hearts are pure before God can have a genuine revelation, for the Holy Ghost must be actively in them to produce the genuine. I grant you, there are a lot of tares that can quote a lot of truth to you, but they do not have it by a spiritual revelation; they have memorized it while sitting among true saints. They will also cast that truth aside in a lot less time than it took them to memorize it when they can gain a material advantage in doing so. We have witnessed that, over and over, again and again. But to God be all glory, honor, and praise, for He is worthy. He is working in the lives of genuine believers to produce the very life and nature of Jesus Christ in every one, before the rapture actually takes place. That is why there is only one name given under heaven among men, through which we are saved, and through which we claim every promise and provision in the word of God. It is a wonderful thing, to know in your heart, that Jesus (twist is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
FALL SEASON OF 1952
Through the year of 1951, and on into 1952, as I studied the word of God, and as I heard of some of the things God was still doing in the world, it caused a deep hunger within me. I knew where the Methodist stood, doctrinally, and I could also see a lot of things in the Methodist church that I felt were wrong, but I did not know what to do about them. Therefore I just found myself sort of drifting along with all the rest. Doctrinally they stood for sanctification, but disagreed with the Baptist that taught eternal security of the believer, and vice versa, but like many of you have heard me say, Some of those old Baptists, by their high moral standards, and their dean lives, were just as sanctified as any Methodist. Then you could turn right around and say, By the same token many of those old time Methodists that followed after all the truth that had been revealed to them, were just as eternally secure as any Baptist. In those days, it was not yet time for God to deal with them in the overall scope of Bible doctrine. Little by little God restored lost Bible doctrine back to the body of believers. and Pentecost fulfilled their part in that restoration, but not until the 1950’s did God move to get all of that restored truth pulled together into one body of believers. As I have said many times before, by into one body of believers. As I have said many times before, by the time I heard what God was doing through the ministry of Bro. Branham. I was well ready to hear it. It was late in the fall of 1952, when my wife’s cousin, Glenn Funk, came down home to go hunting, and told me about him. Bro. Glenn was a deacon in the Branham Tabernacle at the time, and he had hunted with Bro. Branham, and knew him well. He came in from hunting that day, just as I had finished my dinner and stepped outside. We got to talking about the Lord, and the conversation led him to tell me about Bro. Branham, how he had gone to South Africa, and how God had used him there. I listened very closely as he related a number of things that had happened during that three months of time. Then he went on to tell me about what happened down at the Ohio River, in June 1933. Up until this time, I had not heard of such a thing, and I was raised no more than 20 miles from the Jeffersonville area. But when he repeated to me what the voice had spoken to Bro. Branham, there at the river, I had something down deep inside me that said, If these words be true, then this is that Elijah that is to come. When I said that to Bro. Glenn. He then said, Bro. Branham is going to start a week of meetings on Wednesday night, at the tabernacle; I would like for you to come, Bro. Junie. It was corn picking, and grain sowing time, and I was really busy, but I told him I would do my best to come. After hearing what he had just told me, I certainly wanted to go hear this man, so we began making plans to go.
MY FIRST TRIP TO BRANHAM TABERNACLE
I have already related to you how that I had been studying about eternal security of the believer and predestination, and how I got myself into trouble with the Methodists when I preached on those two subjects. It really made me feel bad when one of the elders from the main church there at Elizabeth, came down home and talked to me about it. He said, Bro. Jackson: you are a nice young man; and I like the way you preach, but you know, some of these doctrines that the church does not believe in ought to just be left alone. That made me wonder if I had just been a smart-aleck, and if I had taken an unfair advantage of the people. Therefore, for quite awhile I had been walking under a great burden, feeling that I had overstepped my authority. But Wednesday came, and we went to the tabernacle. I had never been there before, had never even seen the building. So we went in and found a seat about two-thirds of the way back, right in the center aisle, where they had set up some extra chairs. I sat there wondering; What am I about to hear? Then came the time for Bro. Branham to be introduced, and out stepped a little man, small in stature, but with a very kind voice as he began to speak. He opened his Bible to the book of Genesis, and took for a text, the call of Abraham. That is what he titled the message, and he started in and typed it all the way through the Bible. He covered justification, sanctification, baptism of the Holy Ghost, election, predestination, and eternal security, all in one sermon. I had never heard anything like that before. In just one message, he covered all the things that the devil had been bombarding my mind over. You have heard me say before, He made that Bible talk to me that night. He presented a living story, not just a lot of theology. I walked out of there that night, feeling in my heart that this man truly did fulfill the qualifications that I felt this Elijah should have when he came, and at that time I had not even heard him pray for the sick, nor seen any kind of miracle. Bro. Glenn came out, and took me back inside to meet Bro. Branham, and this being before church order, all the people were just standing around in groups, fellowshipping, and Bro. Branham was still on the platform. When I was introduced to him, the first thing he said was, I understand that you are a farmer, I said yes. Do you have any squirrels out there? I said, There might be some. Then he said, Would you care for a fellow like me coming out there hunting? I told him to help himself. I then went into the prayer room where I purchased the two little books, “A Man Sent From God,” and “A Prophet Visits South Africa,” and I went back out and got him to autograph them. He said a few more words to me, and we left, to come home. Like I said, This was my first opportunity to hear the man preach, and only one sermon was all it took to convince me that he was to fulfill that Elijah anointing in this age, before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Needless to say, when I went home that night, the old burden was gone. My mind, and my conscience were clear. I went to bed and got a good night’s sleep, and just before sun up the next morning, I glanced out the window, and there set a little panel truck, with the face of Jesus painted on the side of it, and the words, Branham Campaigns. (I believe that was the words.) I turned over and said to my wife, Honey: Bro. Branham is here squirrel hunting already. This was his usual way; he would always be in the woods before daybreak. I did not want to bother them, so I just went on out to feed the stock, and after breakfast I went on out to the field where my father-in-law and I were drilling grain at that time. We came in for dinner, and were already back out in the field when they came in from hunting. Bro. Glenn asked my wife where they could find me, and they came out to where we were, and stood and talked for over an hour.
BROTHER JUNIE: WALK WITH GOD
I sat there on the tractor looking down at them as Bro. Branham told of all the good things God had done while they were in South Africa, and when they started to leave, Bro. Branham walked over to shake my hand, and said, Bro. Junie: (He always called me Bro. Junie.) You are young in the Lord, but walk with God, for down the road a little further, the Lord has something great for you to do. Brothers and sisters, you can just imagine how I felt to have him say something like that to me, for this sort of thing was unheard of in the Methodist church. The dean of Asbury College would never walk up and say something like that to you. I must confess though, at that time, I did not realize just how much those words would mean to me later on. At that time, what I really had in mind was to try and get Bro. mind was to try and get Bro. Branham down to Rogers Campground Methodist Church. I thought, If we could get him down there, we could get this church revived. When we would be at the tabernacle after that, and I would get a chance to talk with him. I would say, Bro. Branham: I would sure like for you to come down and preach for us. Then he would say, Well Brother: If the Lord ever leads that way, I’ll sure be right there. That was just his way of saying, God will have to lead. We were still in the Methodist church, but our hearts were full of expectancy after attending those services at the Branham Tabernacle in the fall of 1952.
I will never forget this one particular Sunday night in February 1953. The night before, my wife and I had decided that we would get up early on Sunday morning, and go to visit my parents during the day, and then attend the night service at the Branham Tabernacle. This just happened to be the very day that Bro. Neville assumed the pastorate there. When we walked into the tabernacle that night and saw Orman Neville sitting up there on the platform, I thought, What in the world is going on here? Because Orman Neville was the pastor of the little Methodist church I attended before going into the Army, and now, here he is in the Branham Tabernacle. During the war years he had left the little country Methodist church, and came down to another Methodist church over here in Clarksville, Indiana. But then he later left there and stayed independent for a while. You can just imagine my surprise though, when I found that he was the new pastor of the Branham Taber-nacle. Bro. Branham prayed for the sick that night, and I saw my first healing, all of which just added to my already overflowing enthusiasm. But when he announced that they were going to have the Lord’s supper and foot washing after the prayer for the sick, I thought, Oh! No! I have on the wrong socks. One of them had a hole in the toe. Now. Saints: It’s no disgrace to have a sock with a hole in the toe; but there are times when it is a little unhandy. I thought, What will I do? I want to do everything right, yet I do not want this old holey sock to be seen. I then decided that I would take the Lord’s supper and skip the foot washing, and from then on, I would be better prepared, so that is what I did. From that time on, I have been very careful not to wear a sock with a hole in the toe. Now I realize that a thing like that is a little humorous, but it just goes to show how we can sometimes allow little insignifi-cant things to rob us of a spiritual blessing. Nevertheless, when we left there that night, we really felt that we were on the pathway of something that would definitely change our lives.
MY FIRST SPIRITUAL DREAM
In the spring of that year. 1953, I preached for the Elizabeth church on Sunday morning, and since there were 4 churches on the charge, every other Sunday it was necessary to preach two services the same morning. In order to do that, you had to preach from 10-11 in one place, then hurry over to the other church and preach until about 12:30. On this particular Sunday morning when I finished preaching in the Elizabeth church and started out the door, the Sunday school superintendent followed me. Out on the front steps he said, Bro. Jackson. I want to ask you a question. I said, All right; so he continued. It is apparent that we are going to lose our pastor, (which was a seminary student) and you being local, and liked by the people, we were wondering if you would accept the regular pastorate. I told him that I believed I would, and he said, Of course we will have to get it approved by the district superintendent first. The regular meeting for that district was just two weeks later, and the district superintendent came down to the little Rogers Campground church where we had the meeting on Sunday afternoon. After all the regular business was out of the way, some of the men motioned for me to leave the room. That is when they asked him about placing me in the regular pastorate there, but the answer was no. He told them that the Indiana Methodist Conference had passed a rule that all preachers seeking a pastorate, must have at least two years of college, or a certain amount of seminary training. (In other words, they felt that a man had to be trained for the job.) So the brethren came out and told me the news, and expressed their regrets. It was getting late in the evening, so I left, and went on over to the house to get ready to milk the cows. But before I started milking, I knelt down right there in that old cow stable to have a little talk with the Lord. Looking up to heaven, I said, Lord: I do not see this the way they do, but if that is the way it has to be, I am through preaching. I will still do my best to live for you, but I am too old to think about starting to school. Furthermore, I do not believe that a man needs a college degree in order to tell people how to be saved. That was the very night I had my first spiritual dream. I saw myself in this dream, going down a road, approaching a city. Over to the side, it looked like a large ball park, and it had a huge tent all set up there. Seeing the tent, the thought came to me, Now that must be one of those salvation and divine healing tents. At different times, when we would be at the Tabernacle, Bro. Glenn would give us some of the old Voice of Healing magazines, and in them, I had seen pictures of those large tents, so that is what I thought of, in my dream. Then I thought, I am going over there to take a look. (This was God’s way of opening up doors and breaking down barriers for us to make our next move spiritually.) As I stepped into the tent in this dream, I could see no one, but I could hear a noise, like someone typing. Then off at a distance, I could see a man standing behind some boxes, and he was the one doing the typing. I continued to just look around in this huge tent, and the thought came to me, He must be typing up prayer cards. (I had heard Bro. Branham mention that they passed out prayer cards in his services.) After some time the man stopped typing, came out from behind those boxes, and said, Good day sir. How are you? I said, Fine. Then he walked right up to me and said, May I do something for you? I said, No, I am just looking around. But he just kept looking at me, and finally said, You have a need; May I pray for you? I said, yes. Then just as he started to lay his hands upon my head, the whole tent and everything disappeared. It was just as though I was standing out in the open, looking straight up into the sky, and the Lord came to me like a flash, with His arms outstretched. He took my head in His arms and pulled my head up against His chest. Brothers and sisters, at that moment there was such love that radiated from Him, into me. I just began weeping and sobbing, and the more I wept, the more I felt that radiating love. Then after so much of that, I began to get happy inside. My crying then became a happy cry, and a little later it felt like 10 million volts of electricity surged through me, and as it continued to do so. I thought, If this does not stop, I am going to explode. Then with that thrilled and happy feeling, I awakened. I had my pillow in my hand, just about to go over the foot of the bed, and shaking like a leaf. Then I thought, What in the world was that all about? I laid back down, but I could not forget that face, how He looked at me, when He came like a flash and pulled me to Him.
RECEIVING THE HOLY GHOST
The following Sunday we went to the Tabernacle. and that night I asked Bro. Branham if I could talk with him. We went to the back of the church and sat down in one of the pews and I told him the dream. He just looked at me and said, Bro. Junie: Walk with God; He is getting ready to lead you into deep water; Just walk with God. That was all he had to say in connection with the dream, but in no more than about two weeks time, that dream began to have its fulfillment I had already heard Bro. Branham say, “You Methodists need the Holy Ghost too,” and I had been praying earnestly to receive. As a matter of fact, if you could have seen me during some of those times while I was praying, You would have thought, That guy is off his rocker. But I wanted the Holy Ghost more than anything else, and I was willing to do anything to get it. Then Bro. Glenn mentioned to me that a certain man was going to be conducting meetings over in Louisville, at a high school auditorium. He told me that he had heard that this fellow was having success in praying for the sick, and asked if I would like to go over. I said that I would, so we went, and sat about half way back in the auditorium. The evangelist was from the state of Tennessee, and is still alive today, but he does not preach today like he did then. I will never forget what happened when he prayed (or the sick that night. A woman came up on the platform, walking with crutches. He walked over and gently took her crutches from her, and laid them over on a chair. Then he took her by the hand, and said, Now walk with me. He led her slowly across the platform, and then back again, supporting her as they walked. Then he led her across again, and she went back without him. He called to her. Here, take these things with you (the crutches). All of that was just letting Raymond Jackson know that he had not seen anything yet, for we had never known anything about this sort of thing hack there in the Methodist church. I was really getting my eyes opened up. We went back another night during the week, and that night, he announced that he would be praying for those who wanted to receive the Holy Ghost, the following Friday night. “If you want more of God: you be here,” he said. Brother, I wanted everything God had to offer, so I thought. I’ll be here for sure. He then said, It would be good if you would fast for a meal before coming to the meeting. I thought to myself, If one meal would be good, the whole day would do better, so I fasted all day Friday before going to the meeting that night. I do not remember what he preached on that night: my mind was on only one thing, receiving the Holy Ghost. Therefore when he finished preaching and said, form a prayer line, I was ready. I was ready to do anything God wanted me to do. He lined up the men on one side, and the women on the other, and he would alternate praying for them. I stepped up to him, and he reached out to lay his hand upon my head, but his hand never did touch me. I never did hear that first word of his prayer for me, for as soon as he reached toward me, something struck me in the leg, and the next thing I knew, I was lying flat on my back, on the floor of that auditorium. I didn’t feel anything, so I thought, What am I doing here on the floor? That Methodist pride entered into the picture at that moment. I thought, This does not look good, I had better get up. But when I tried to get my elbow under me to get up, I just as well had tried to lift the Empire State Building, as to try getting up from that floor. I was straining inwardly for all that I was worth, but I could not move one inch from that floor. I first thought, Now what is going on here? Then I just relaxed. I thought, Raymond Jackson: The Lord has His hand upon you for sure, and then I said, Lord, do whatever you want to. Then I suddenly felt just like what I had experienced in the dream. It was as though my feet were stuck into an electrical socket, and my head into another one. Brother it came from both ends and met in the middle. Then the building began to spin, and it looked like every light in that place came together into one huge light. I could not distinguish one light from another, for it just seemed that the whole building became one great light, and the other people were no longer visible. Lying there like that I thought to myself, If I could just die like this, this is the way to go. It was an inner happiness and peace that was glorious. I never did know how long I laid there, but after everyone else was already back to their seat, Bro. Glenn said, You can get up now. That is what he thought. I knew better. I was still unable to get up by myself, but he helped me to my feet and stood there holding me up for a long while, it seemed, until I sobered up. I would look at those seats, and they would just flee from me. Nevertheless when I returned to present realities, I knew that I had received the Holy Ghost. Did you speak in tongues? My Pentecostal critics will ask. No, I did not speak in tongues that night, but you do not have enough theology at your disposal to convince me that I did not receive the Holy Ghost that night. I already knew that God was a sovereign Spirit, but I had never considered the fact that He could, or would so completely overwhelm a person that there would be no strength left in them. This was another great changing point in our lives though, for even though I was still farming, we attended every meeting we could possibly get to from then on.
PENTECOST WAS NEVER LIKE THIS
We were privileged to attend the meetings up in Connersville, Indiana, and to observe Bro. Branham’s ministry out in the big meetings. Bro. Glenn remembers how we would both drive up there early in the day, and take a lunch with us, trying to get there early enough to get a seat close to the front, so we could see what took place when Bro. Branham prayed for the people. I will never forget one particular incident we witnessed there, as Bro. Branham prayed for a long line of sick people one night. It was probably in the Saturday night service while he was ministering to those that passed through the prayer line, that he stopped and looked straight into the face of the lady that stood before him, and said, You have just returned from Africa. I see that you and your husband are missionaries, and she replied yes. You are not sick; he continued. Do you believe the Lord knows what you want? Yes. You want a baby. She began to cry, and he said, May the Lord bless you then, and he prayed for her. Brothers and sisters, I am sure that I do not need to tell you how that affected me. To see God using that little man in such a way was almost overwhelming. Pentecost had never seen anything like that, and the imitators could not duplicate it. Many of them have tried, but they could never hit it 100 percent accurate like he did. Anyone can stand up before a large crowd of people and say, Now I see three persons out there that have severe heart problems, and two that have cancer, and on, and on like that, and people will stand and acknowledge that they do, but you let someone come and stand before them, and see if they can reveal the secret things of the heart. That is what tells the story. Now some will say, But Bro. Jackson, a lot of people have been healed in these other meetings. I know they have. That just proves that God will honor His word wherever He finds genuine faith in the heart of an individual. Praise His glorious name. That is exactly how it was with me in those early days as we began to venture outside of the Methodist church. I was so hungry for more of God, I went wherever I thought God might manifest His power in a service. I might say this also, Many of those preachers turned back to the world in later years, but that did not cancel out the benefits received by all of those that exercised faith for something in their meetings.
SEEKING SPIRITUAL GIFTS
During the summer of 1953, as we attended various meetings, I was thankful in my heart for what God had already done for me, but I was constantly praying, Lord, Let this lead me to the gifts of the Spirit. I knew that I had the Holy Ghost, but I also knew that Pentecostal people would never accept my experience as it stood. Therefore I found myself praying, Lord, if you will just let me speak in tongues, I will do my best to teach the truth of your word. (You just cannot preach to people unless you are given an opportunity.) I wanted everything God had for me, and I was willing to do whatever God wanted me to do. So there came a young man from somewhere out west, and set up a tent down here on the outskirts of New Albany, and naturally we went. It was in the month of August, and only a few people were there the one night we attended. The man preached a little message; then he asked, How many of you would like to receive the Holy Ghost? About 5 or 6 held up their hands, so they were taken into another tent. Then he asked for some who had the Holy Ghost to go pray with them, so we went back and I prayed with them for a while. Finally he came back there and asked some of the helpers if any i of them had spoken in tongues. When the helpers said no, he said, “Well they haven’t got it then, and went on back to the main tent. Then just before he dismissed the rest of the people, he said, If you haven’t spoken in tongues, you are a hypocrite. That statement caused me to say to myself, Brother, you have gone beyond ‘ the authority of the scriptures to make a statement like that. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35) If that isn’t the truth, then that scripture should have been, All men will know that ye are my disciples when you speak in tongues. Saints, do you see where that kind of reasoning will drive you to? Devil worshipers speak in tongues, but does that mean that we should believe they have the Holy Ghost? I hope you catch my point. I went home from that service and went to bed, but sleep was far from me. I laid there praying, and thinking upon those scriptures that deal with receiving the Holy Ghost, and with the gifts of the Spirit. Believe me; I knew them all by heart, for I had read them over and over, again and again. I said, Lord, you put this together for me. I can never preach it the way they do; for I can plainly see that the scriptures do not present it like that. Then I said, But Lord, lead me to the place where these gifts of the Spirit will become a part of my life.
SPEAKING IN TONGUES
In September, A. A. Allen set up his tent in Evansville, Indiana, and I had been having a strong feeling that if I could just get into a service where these gifts were operating God would do some-thing for me, so we went on Saturday night. We were seated closer to the back of the tent, but it seemed like this particular service was planned just for me. He came to the platform and started to preach, and it seemed like the Spirit of God just swept through that tent like a pleasant breeze. Then suddenly the gifts started to operate, first prophecy, and then tongues and interpretation. Back and forth from the platform to the congregation it went, and just as suddenly as it started, it stopped. Then Bro. Allen said, There is a strong moving of the Spirit present here, I am going to give a call first, to those that want salvation. You that wish to repent and get right with God, come on right now. Back in those days, in many of those meetings, you could feel the convicting power of God sweep over people. You do not feel it like that any more, for the Spirit of God is lifting from the Gentiles, but back then, it was just like a heavy fog, as it would move through the congregation. When that would happen, hundreds would get up and run to the front, as was the case that night. He prayed a mass prayer for them, and then motioned to the workers to take them back and pray and counsel with them. Then he said, Now I am going to pray for those who came tonight expecting God to do something for them. Those that did, I want you to line up over here. Then he asked all the preachers to come down and form a line in front of the platform to pray for the people as they passed before them. I managed to get in line close to the front, no more than about a dozen in front of us. His instructions were, just walk by the preachers, and let them reach out and touch you as you go by, and they will pray that God will bless you. The line started, and just as I got up to about 5 or 6 from where Bro. Allen was standing, the whole tent began to go around and around, and I started getting drunk. No one had touched me up to that point, but I heard A. A. Allen say, Carry him out. Two big preachers grabbed me by the arm, and dragged me over to the side, and laid me face down in the straw they had scattered on the ground. There I lay, drunk in the Spirit. but I did not feel any of the dynamic surge that I had felt in the meeting over in Louisville, in that auditorium. After a little while the drunk feeling began to leave me, and I was thinking, Lord, what was all of this for? And I was just ready to get up, when suddenly there was a funny little feeling in the pit of my stomach. Then it started moving upward, and when it came out of my mouth, it was a word in another language. When that one word came out, then it started, just like marbles rolling. For about 15 minutes I lay there speaking in another tongue, and then I did not feel like speaking any more; it was gone. Then I thought. I may never speak like that again, but thanks be to God. He has answered my prayer. Now some would say, Right then is when you received the Holy Ghost; but I would just have to answer them like this, You had better get your remarks lined up with the scriptures, for I know when I received the Holy Ghost. God just saw fit to answer my prayer that night. The Holy Ghost is more than just speaking in tongues. He is to guide you into all truth, and teach you all things. Yes. That includes all Bible doctrine, all the doctrines of the entire Bible. He will not allow you to cast away any of them, no matter how hard it is on your flesh. Brother, I never did want to be just another Christian cut from a mold that pleased everyone. I had already learned from the scriptures that a genuine Bible believing Christian was not the most popular person around, but my desire was toward God. I had already said, Lord, I want all that you have for me. and I meant it, regardless of what the consequences might be. A little later, when we left the Methodist church I said, You will never get me back inside the doors of another denomination. I would never preach to please people if they offered me the whole world with all its riches and glory, for I know that God is not pleased with those who do so. God is a sovereign Spirit, and He is in His word. Therefore He wants a people that will allow His word to dwell in them, and be led and guided by Him. Believing that God had dealt with our lives as He had for some particular reason, and knowing that what we now had would be out of place in the Methodist church, we made up our minds to leave it, shortly after that That is when we started going to the Tabernacle regularly.
MY FIRST HEALING
In the month of March 1954, Bro. Branham started a meeting over in Louisville, at the church of the Open Door. where Wallace Cauble was pastor. It was during this period that I had my first experience of healing in my own body. While I was in the Army, and also prior to going into the Army, I had been bothered with sinus infections. When I would take a cold it would go right into a sinus infection, and that is what happened on the weekend just before the Louisville meeting was to start. I had worked in the fields that week, got too hot. took a cold, and my sinuses became infected. In the daytime my head would throb just like a toothache. All I could do was just sit around the house all day suffering. I would even put my head down in a basin of hot water trying to get relief. but that did not help. I also tried cold water, but that did not help either. I thought, Lord: What am I going to do? I want to attend Bro. Branham’s meetings, but I could never sit there feeling like this. Then about 5 o’clock in the evening when I would need to milk the cows if we were going, the throbbing lifted, and by the time I got myself ready to leave home, I did not feel like I had ever had any problem. But the very next morning it was right back again. and in the evening it lifted, and we went to the meeting again. This same pattern continued throughout that whole week. During the week I tried to get a prayer card, but I never could get to Billy Paul to get one. I enjoyed the meetings all week long, sitting there seeing what God was doing for others, but my own condition was not touched during that time, even though it was not necessary to go through the prayer line in order to be healed. It was really perplexing to me; I just could not understand it. I knew God had to be in it, or I could not have gone to the meetings every night free from the problem, but I simply could not understand why it was allowed to come back during the day. every day except Sunday. I was free from the condition all day Sunday; therefore we attended both services. But on Monday morning, it was right back again. During that week, after the meeting closed out, I decided to go to a doctor there in New Middletown, close to home, but the spray and the pills failed to give me the relief I needed. I said. Lord. How can I go through life tormented with this condition? By then. I had decided that no doctor was ever going to cure me. If I was to be cured, it would have to be done by the Lord, and that is exactly how it was. One night during that week God operated on my sinuses in a dream, and I have never had that problem since. I saw myself in a dream, like I was in a hospital operating room. I could see myself lying there on the operating table. Two figures dressed in white came and stood, one on each side of me. I could not see their faces, but I could hear them speaking. One would say, Hand me such and such an instrument. Then I could feel something being shoved into my nostrils. Then peck. peck, peck, a sound of a little hammer striking metal, and suddenly that chisel broke through, and instant relief came to me, complete relief. Brothers and sisters, I have never had that problem again since then. Hallelujah! I have had head colds. I have had my nose clogged so tight that I couldn’t breathe through it, but I have never had that sinus pressure again since then. Oh how I thank God for that surgery. If you have never had such a problem where every time your heart would beat, your head would feel like it was going to explode, you may not fully appreciate what the Lord did for me in that dream, that night, but it was enough to convince me that He is the only healer Doctors and medicine can assist nature, but they cannot bring instant and permanent healing like the Lord can. Furthermore, I am fully persuaded that He will never let any condition go beyond what His children are able to bear, without somewhere making a way of deliverance. I am also convinced that God allows certain things to come upon us, both physically, as well as spiritually, in order that we may learn from it. Truly the years of 1953 and 1954 were years of learning and growing for us from a spiritual standpoint. I did not know, or even suspect back then, that the following of Bro. Branham was destined to take the course it did. People were so full of zeal and enthusiasm about the power of God in those days, it just kept one under a great expectancy all the time. People were coming out of denominations, and their denominational leaders were squawking their heads off, but we knew that Jesus had said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they know me, a stranger they will not follow.” Therefore we were constantly rejoicing because of the fellowship of the people He I had caused us to be associated with, a people that loved God, and t were not ashamed of it. The joy of the Lord, true peace in your soul, and freedom to worship God according to the full potential found in His word, cannot be attained within the confines of a denominational system of religion. . That is why I said, I will never join another system as long as I live. That does not mean that I cannot respect individuals that are still in those systems, but when they come out against the Bible truth that we hold dear to our hearts. I just have to say, You have that same old spirit that the scribes and Pharisees had; it can never respect God. That is exactly the way I feel about those that are forever wanting to argue or debate, or just outrightly challenge what we know to be the truth from the word of God. Just like in the days of Jesus; look how He was challenged on the things He taught – the very Son of God. Why wouldn’t that same spirit challenge anyone who dares to stand for truth in this evil age? They take their pick on the usage of certain words, and try to establish their argument by using their Hebrew and Greek. Just like the man who wants to challenge and debate someone of this following on Bro. Branham’s teaching of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25. Those people want to believe that any time the word everlasting is used, it always pertains to time without end, forever, and forever without end, I cannot help but wonder how they apply that same word when they read Revelation 14:6, where the angel is said to have the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people. It is called the EVERLASTING GOSPEL, yet part of its message is that the hour of God’s judgment is at hand. Now I ask you, Could a message like that still be proclaimed to the world after the hour of God’s judgment has already passed? You say, Of course not. What about the word everlasting, there, then? How will you reconcile it when both usages, Matt. 25, and Rev. 14, come from the same Greek word? That is why I say, It is vain to argue about the scriptures, for neither one can ever convince the other by arguing. Just speak your defense of truth, and then let it rest in the hands of God. When Pilate asked Jesus, Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus merely said. Is this your own idea, or did someone tell you that? This is what Jesus was referring to when He said. Be as wise as serpents, and as harmless as doves. You have truth and you know the devil does not like it; therefore he will use some poor soul to challenge that truth. Just be wise with your answers. but do not try to chop that person up into little pieces; God will know how to handle it, if you will let Him.
Through the months after we left the Methodist church we not only sat in many of Bro. Bran-ham’s meetings in various places. but we also had opportunities to sit under the big tents of other well known evangelists also. I could never begin to tell you of all the places we traveled to during that time on up through the year 1955. But as far as I was concerned, out of all the men we heard preach. Bro. Branham was the only one that really had a message to the people, from the Bible. We witnessed many great moves of God in those other men’s meetings, but they had no real message to the people from the scriptures, that they could hold on to after the thrill of their meetings had worn off. Gayle Jackson was a well known evan-gelist back then, but I read an article by him, where he stated that while studying one time, he was almost made to believe in predestination, but finally threw it away, realizing that it was not taught like that in the Bible. It seems that a lot of those men who were greatly used of God, never really saw anything in the Bible except soul salvation and divine healing, and of course most of them prayed for people who desired to receive the Holy Ghost, but beyond that, it was as though they had no revelation of God’s plan for mankind. It is pathetic to find so many people even yet today, that actually think of God only for salvation from sins, and healing for the body. Yet when you read the Bible itself, you cannot find even one sermon on the subject of divine healing. Some preachers devote most of their efforts to studying and preaching on how to have faith for divine healing, and they will not spend five minutes studying on how to grow spiritually into the image and stature of Jesus Christ. Brother, that takes more than just knowing how to be healed. Spiritual growth requires all of the word of God. if that growth is to produce what Jesus is going to return for one day. But we have to realize that we are living in the last days, and that the spirit of Laodicea is running rampant. and that the spirit of conviction is lifting from the Gentiles. The Spirit of true holiness is almost a complete stranger to thousands upon thousands that are professing to be Christians in this evil age. I know I have used it many times, but it is still in the Bible, and it pertains to our day. I am speaking of the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23; let us read those three verses right here, Not every one that saith unto me. Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then I will profess unto them. I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” That was written two thousand years ago, but it was pertaining to our day. I call these men SPIRITUAL RACKETEERS, or GOSPEL RACKETEERS. They use the power of God for their personal gain, and they have a following of people that just love every bit of it. Do not ever think that Jesus does not know about these characters, He simply meant, I do not know you in the intimate relationship that you profess to have with me. Of course that does not prevent God from honoring His word any time a hungry soul reaches out in faith to claim a promise from His word, regardless of who the preacher may be. That is why I said, I will never discredit any act of divine healing, nor anything else of the power of God, when it is manifested on behalf of a needy soul, even if I know the preacher is one of those GOSPEL RACKETEERS. You can mark this down in your book though; God is interested in much, much more than just healing your sick body. Sooner or later you are going to have to make a decision as to whether you will follow Him in the light of His word. That is what John wrote about in his first little epistle where he said, If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, (and that means all the light that is available to you as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7) Now some will say. What is light? Every truth from the scriptures is light; therefore if God anoints someone to speak a truth to you and you reject it. You have just turned into a path of darkness. God will not condemn you for choosing to study and pray about something you do not understand, before you accept it, but when you just flatly reject it. or as some do, speak evil concerning that truth, you are in trouble with the author of that truth, God Himself.
WHEN THE NEW BIRTH IS FINALIZED
I will always remember how it was with us in the early days when we first began attending the Branham Tabernacle. and would hear Bro. Branham makes certain statements pertaining to Biblical doctrine. We first heard about the oneness of God from him, and also about water baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. That was new light to us, but once we heard it, and saw it in the scriptures. we could hardly wait to walk in that light. One thing I did pay attention to even back then, was that Bro. Branham made two different statements concerning the new birth, and I did not know back then why God allowed such a thing, but I do now. In one message I heard him say. You are born again when you believe on Jesus Christ. repent and accept Him as your Savior. You are born then, but you receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost for power. Well, that Is pretty good doctrine for certain areas of Pentecostal teaching; But a little while later when he preached the message, “You Must Be Born Again,” he tore that previous statement all to pieces. He plainly stated then that a person is not born again until they receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and compared it to a birth in the natural, to make his point. He said, When you repent and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, that is comparable to conception in the natural. It is a potential birth, but it is not complete. He went ahead and compared a natural pregnancy with the period of time that God leads people through sanctification and a disciplining period many times, before they receive the Holy Ghost, saying, The Holy Ghost is God’s seal of acceptance. That is what constitutes the new birth. He went ahead to use other examples, to establish this, but in all the time I knew him, he never did go back and explain why he said those other things. They just laid right there untouched until God took him off the scene. Then various ones began to compile statements and concordances, and they dug that first statement out and used it along with every other statement he ever made, but like so many of the other statements that were unexplained, it only caused confusion. Some use one, others another, and none of them ever took the time to find out which statement would actually line up with the scriptures. These characters have brought more reproach upon the name and image of Bro. Branham, then those who opposed his teaching could ever manage to do. Ninety percent of those who criticize his doctrine only do so upon the basis of what they have heard from someone else; they will never take the time to find out for themselves what he taught. The minute they find out that he was not an educated man, they automatically reject all that he ought, for to them only theologians from their great schools have a right to handle the scriptures.
CHOSEN AND PREDESTINATED
Coming out of the Dark Ages, God did use educated men. All of those reformers were educated; it took that to deal with the intellectuals that held the reins on religion in those days. The reformation included battling with political forces as well as spiritual forces, as the individual restored doctrinal truths, one by one, had to be rescued from the ecclesias-tical and political structures of the nations of Europe. But when you come to the turn of the century, that is no longer the case. All the major doctrines of the Bible have been restored to believers, but they have not been collected together. It is true that stiff collared theologians still held those various doctrines some here, and some there, but to many of them, even the doctrine they held was just so many words to them. They did not have the reality in their soul to match what they taught. So what did God do? He took a little Baptist preacher with only a 5th grade education, and revealed the truth of all these restored doctrines to him. I have heard him stand, under the anointing, and give such beautiful but simple illustrations as he would preach on these various subjects. At the Assemblies of God church down in Owensboro where I heard him preach on sanctification one time, he used a beautiful drinking glass that had been lost in the hog pen to illustrate his point. Those old hogs wallowed that beautiful glass around in the mud until it was dirty and filthy to look at. Could it be justified and sanctified? (delivered from its circumstances and cleaned up) Of course. The owner of that glass would not even consider the mud on it, nor the hog pen where it had been, for he knew what it was like before it wound up in that hog pen. It is the same with a poor lost sinner out here wallowing in the filth of this world. God, that foreknew him before the foundation of the world. can justify him and clean him up, and never even consider the helpless state that the poor soul was found in. Justification, sanctification, foreknowledge, and predestination would all be por-frayed in some of the simplest, but most beautiful ways, when that anointing was upon him. You were not elected in Christ the day you joined the Methodist church, or the Pentecostal church. If you are in Christ, you were elected in Him before the foundation of the world. Bro. Jackson, are you sure about that? I am absolutely sure that the Bible says so. Open your Bibles to Ephesians 1:3-5, and we will read it. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in Him (When?) before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: Having (What?) predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to (What?) the good pleasure of HIS WILL.” Brothers and sisters, that is not something to fight about: that is something to shout about. Hallelujah! Praise God! He may have used man’s religious programs to deal with your life, but He knew you long before there ever was a religious program of any kind. I must tell you this though, We are living in an hour when very few sinners are being brought to repentance. It looks like the fullness of the Gentiles is just about accomplished in that way, for God seems to be dealing almost entirely upon perfecting those that are already in. Now please do not go out and tell that I said Grace for Gentiles is over; for I did not say that. I do not know when God will close the door completely. All I know is that the Spirit of conviction unto repentance is not witnessed much in these days.
Now concerning the subject of eternal security of the believer, let me say this. I know there are an awful lot of people who get so upset they could pull their hair out and climb a wall spitting fire all the way up, when you mention this doctrine to them, but that does not annul it. God’s word remains forever the same, whether it agrees with your pet doctrines or not. Did you ever hear of a person being born more than one time in the natural? Well, do not look for more than one birth in the spiritual then. I will tell you what has a lot of peoples’ doctrine messed up; they have been applying the new birth to a lot of people it did not apply to. A lot of people have been psychologically converted and lived good clean lives for many years, that in reality have never been born of the Spirit of God. Then you have a certain element of people that seemingly repent in every revival meeting they attend; they call it getting saved again. Believe me. If a person gets genuine Bible salvation, it will last them a lifetime. That is why Jesus could say, Of those that the Father hath given me, I have lost none. He never will lose one either. The key to eternal security is the seal. Not enough of these that claim to be born again, have the seal (the Holy Ghost.) That is what constitutes the new birth. Now that I know the truth, I can hardly imagine anyone claiming to have a spiritual birth, when it is so obvious that they do not have the Spirit of such a birth. In Ephesians 4:30, Paul said, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are SEALED (for how long?) unto the DAY OF REDEMPTION.” In Romans 8:9, that same apostle also said this. “Now if any man (or any person) have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Do you believe the apostle Paul knew what he was talking about? I say, You had better believe he did, for he wrote most of the New Testament epistles that the church is to be guided by; But on the other hand, I realize that there is no amount of reasoning that can change a person that is already sold out to a particular denominational doctrine, no matter how much scripture you can bring forth to them. In the Methodist church, I had my part in trying to twist people’s arms and force them to live for God, but there came the day when I realized that if God does not draw them by His Spirit, they will never receive the new birth experience. I sat many times listening to Bro. Branham explains these various doctrines, and I would say, Oh, thank you Lord: this man really makes the Bible talk to my soul. When he got through explaining something, I could see it in the word of God, and that thrilled my soul. How-ever as time went by, I realized also that he was very human just like the rest of us, and was entitled to give his own personal opinions on Bible prophecy just like anyone else, without it being. Thus saith the Lord. The apostle Paul did, so what is the difference? He had that great revival there at Ephesus, and got to feeling like the coming of the Lord was so close that it could happen just any time. There in 59 A.D. when he wrote the first letter to the Corinthians, he told them that because of the shortness of time it would be better not to even marry. In other words, just stay single so that you can give all your full attention to the things of the Lord; But just about 6 years later when he wrote the first letter to Timothy, after he had suffered many things and was a prisoner in Rome he said, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” You can see by that admonition, that he no longer expects the coming of the Lord to be so soon, for he has them looking to the future. Time had given him an opportunity to evaluate the situation and make a different judgment. But the reason I am calling this to your attention is to help you realize that even a prophet or an apostle of the living God has just as much right to express his human feelings as anyone else. We just have to be spiritual enough not to stake our whole future upon one statement, without first examining other related statements. Every man, no matter what his calling may be, must be allowed to exercise his humanity. As great as the apostle Paul was, I can see his human feelings being expressed many times as I read the book of Acts and the epistles.
RESTORATION — REVELATION — DUAL STATEMENTS
Brothers and sisters: God still uses men to carry out His redemption plan for mankind, but we have to be able to see the man in his proper role, and keep everything in its proper order. That is why I have said many times, Do not follow my flesh. Flesh can fail; but the word of God that comes forth through instruments of flesh and blood will never fail. In other words, be sure you seek God until He gives you a revelation of that which you order your life by. I sat and listened to Bro. Branham preach, and the things I heard changed my whole life and outlook, but I could still see the human side of him all along I want you to know also, that I do not say that to belittle him in any way; I just say it in an effort to let some people know that he was not God. I say that humbly, knowing that regardless of what God uses a man for. He still wants that man to be regarded as a man and not God. Only Gentiles do such things anyhow. Every true Jew knows that God is a Spirit, and that He is one and not three persons. On the other hand Gentiles have always had a tendency just to believe anything that sounds exciting. without even bothering to find out if it lines up with the word of God or not. I have watched that through the years in connection with the dual statements Bro. Branham made from time to time. I will admit that I myself did not fully understand at the time, why God would allow him to make certain statements that were completely contrary to statements he had already made, or to certain things he had already proved by the scriptures, but as time went on, I did come to see why God actually allowed it to be that way. A lot of people tried to believe a truth, without accepting the full experience from God, that would make such a truth a reality. Therefore God just allowed him to come right back with a contrary statement that would throw them for a loop. You just have to realize first of all, that God’s truth is for God’s people. It was never meant for make-believers to be able to fully understand it. Bro. Branham had people sitting in his meetings from almost every denomination, both oneness and trinity, and a lot of them never had any intention of leaving their old systems; they just came for whatever benefits they could derive from being there, even some just to be enter-tained. They were already in confusion; their motives were not right before God; therefore Ile just allowed Bro. Branham to make certain statements that would keep them in confusion. God never meant for his every word to be recorded and used as a Bible in place of the holy inspired scriptures we have already. I have said before, but I want to say it again for the sake of this message; Bro. Branham was not a writing prophet like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, and all of them; he was a preaching, or revealing prophet, just like John the Baptist. A revealing prophet is one that reaches back into the scriptures that are already writ-ten, bringing those prophecies up to present tense application. Such a man could also make prophetic utterances as God would reveal certain things, but that would not mean that they should be made a part of the scriptures. Bro. Branham’s main function was to do exactly what John did, bring to present tense those scriptures that pertain to the coming of Jesus Christ in order that there be an element of people prepared to receive Him. These so called preachers that lay their Bible aside and preach nothing but what Bro. Branham said, actually make the Reformation a vain effort. They treat Luther, Wesley, Calvin, Knox, and all those men as if they had no purpose at all in what God is doing for the church. Yet it was through those men that God actually restored to the church those doctrines that Bro. Branham enjoyed preaching on so much. I dare any of them to name one Bible doctrine that was not already restored to the church before Bro. Branham ever came upon the scene. As I have said over and over again, and again, Bro. Branham just reached out and pulled all of them together and presented them in one package to all who would receive them. Furthermore he did it with such simple down to earth Ianguage that anyone who had the Holy Ghost could understand it, whether they were educated or not. That is what was so beautiful about it. He was not the one that restored the teaching on the baptism of the Holy Ghost, but he certainly believed that it was a necessity in the new birth experience, and even though you may find dual statements, the truth is lying there in his messages, and the true foreknown seed of God hears that. As we have already stated, Bro. Branham has been gone for over 16 years now, but the truth that he taught and stood for is still ringing around his old globe, preparing the hearts of believers to receive the heavenly bridegroom Jesus Christ, when He appears in the clouds to call them to the marriage supper. We want to use some pictures of Bro. Branham again in this issue, so we will hold the rest of our remarks for now, to leave room for them. Watch for our next issue, when we will present various other events that give testimony of Bro. Branham’s true calling of God, and also how it affected our own lives. But above all else, walk with God in these troublesome times. He is the only real security we have.