Thank you, Brother Williams. I would like to read a scripture
from Luke 12:42, before I make a few little remarks, this evening.
"And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?"
There are so many things that could be said on this particular occasion, that we have set aside as a Memorial service for this great servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, Brother Branham. Time being so important, it is hard to put into a few words just what is way down deep in the heart.
For eighteen or nineteen years I have followed Brother Branham around the country wherever he went. If I had the money to get there, I tried to be there. Since 1959, I have been his manager, and have worked as closely as I possibly could with this man of God.
I was thinking of the theme verse that we have used for many years: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8) Not a God of yesterday only, or just for today, but He remains the unchangeable God, that we have heard our brother refer to year after year, and time after time. I believe He is now standing present with us in this very building. The Word says that wherever two or three are gathered together in His name, He would be there in the midst of them.
That Word that has been delivered to us so faithfully-the Lord Jesus Christ-stands ready to stand behind it and confirin it, for the hour is at hand, and His appearing draweth nigh.
I followed Brother Branham's ministry as closely as I knew how to follow it. Many times I saw hiin pray for people who were in an absolutely impossible condition to be helped, and yet the Lord raised them up. From my own personal experience in knowing the prayers of this man of God, on two different occasions I would have died, except that the Lord heard this man's prayer. Because of that finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, I stand as a witness today, with a testimony that it is the truth. I am so grateful for the Lord.
A memorial could not be long enough, expensive enough, or great enough, to represent the great etemal work that has borne witness in the hearts of God's people, even among those present here tonight.
He was a very strange, peculiar, and unusual man; yet the life of every man of God whoever stood still long enough and heard the Word of the Lord, was peculiar and strange also. He represented the Lord Jesus Christ.
As we think of Brother Branham tonight, I might just title my remarks, "Who was this man?"
I think of Abraham, who one day had a Visitor, Who came down and stood before him and told him the secret of his heart. He referred to and spoke to Sarah, telling her about her own condition He said that one day she would have a son, even according to the tiine of life.
This man of God, who stood in this hall, has likewise revealed the secrets of the hearts and told men things that no other man knew, but the Lord Jesus Christ. I would like to ask you, "Who was this man?"
I think of John the Baptist. (How great that man was.) He was a lover of the wilderness.
I think of this servant of Christ that we are having this memorial for tonight. How perfectly typical he was, in every way. Brother Branham, like John the Baptist, was a lover of the wilds. He was one who hated sin, iniquity, and anything that bound up God's people. He hated all kinds of irnmoral life. He was one who spoke out harshly against the church of the Lord Jesus Christ when they would tolerate or allow their women to corrupt themselves, with the evil imagination of the world. He was one who stood there, like John the Baptist, as a bright light.
They asked John one day, "Are you the One that is supposed to come?"
John said, "I am only the voice of one crying in the wilderness 'prepare ye the way of the Lord'."
I would like to call to your remembrance these things. I would like to ask you, "Who was this man who was in our midst?" A man that could have been rich, and yet for your sake and mine, he laid aside all those things. He drove a borrowed car, wore a suit on his back and shoes on his feet that someone else had given him. Even the food on the table was often provided by someone else. Yet, he could have been a millionaire, with gifts that he could have received.
Who was this man? A man that was uneducated, as far as world standards were concerned, and yet teachers and wise men would sit at his feet to learn. He challenged any theologian to come and question him on the stand that he took in this Word of God.
I would like to ask, "Who was this man that we are having a memorial for tonight?" Unannounced, and yet there are few who have been in a Pentecostal meeting that did not know something about this man, William Branham. Brother Joseph Mattsson-Boze, one daywhile making a flight across Africa, went up into the cockpit pit and talked to the pilot. He happened to mention that he knew William Branham, and asked if the pilot had ever heard of him. The pilot said, "There isn't a man in Africa that doesn't know that man!" Unannounced, but yet heralding the voice of the Lord around the world, which is "Thus saith the Lord."
Who is this man we are having a memorial for tonight? Many have called for him to pray for them. Kings of the earth have sent telegrams for him to come, and he has gone to them, laid hands upon them, and they have been healed. Congressmen in this land of ours were raised up according to "Thus saith the Lord." He has had appointments with leaders and men of renown in far off coun- tries. Why was it that they called upon him for his advice, council, and prayers? What was it that they saw in hiin? It was something that the people of this land don't recognize today!
Who was this man? Some called him "a great man". Some say, "He's the Messiah." Some say, "He is a prophet." Some say, "He is the star that is shining bright." Some say, "He is an angel to the church." Others say, "He is a mind reader, a false prophet." Never did he enter a building to speak to large crowds, nor did he ever talk to an individual, but what he demanded that they form an opinion of what was "Thus saith the Lord" in that Word of God. Every man was called upon to form some sort of opinion.
What sort of a man is this that we are speaking of tonight? His birth was announced by a pillar of fire hovering over that little crib, before young parents that didn't even know God. He bore witness to that same pillar of fire all during his life. Many have seen it with their own eyes. Yet those of us that haven't, have heard them bear witness that what he said was the truth. During these visitations we have seen him stand on the platform and reveal the secrets of the heart.
My own hand is raised that all things he ever told me were exactly the truth. Never was one thing added, neither was there one thing taken away; but it was perfect. I have never at anytime seen anyone acknowledge differently that what he told them was the truth. it was perfect in every respect. That is right.
This is not the work of a man. This is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, being manifest to the church in these closing days. That same pillar of fire that was with him at his birth, also bore witness when he said he wanted to leave this "pesthouse" and go over into that other land. He said that he wanted to put his sword back into its sheath, take off his helmet and lay it down, place his Bible beside it, and shove off across that river, screaming aloud, "Lord, I'm coming home!" That is where he has gone.
Many brethren witnessed at the time of his death how that even the moon dipped gently on the horizon. Its color was blood red. Two stars fell in the very direction of the hospital where he lay. All during those six dark days, there was not a sign of the sun. Yet at that very moment that we began to sing the song, "On the wings of a snow white dove, God sent His pure, sweet love; a sign from above. . . . " the sun broke through the clouds, in that glowing amber color of the pillar of fire, that he witnessed to us would come.
Even the stars of the heavens witnessed to this sad time. A bright star (I do not know if it was the North Star), but before our very eyes, it would dim and then brighten up, and then dim again, and finally disappear, only to return to the scene. It was seen in other places, in fact all over the country. There were signs in the heavens. rmat is right.
Even at his funeral, we were able to look directly into that sun and see the different colors. It seemed as though a great disk hung in front of it.
God was trying to show his people that there had been an un- usual man in our midst. I wonder if we have heard what he said? Who is this man of God, whose birth and death were declared by the firmament?
Brother Branham wrote additional words to the song, "Snow Wbite Dove", just before he passed on. It was a song of commemoration, pointing to something that was going to take place, typifying fying the suffering that he would soon experience. I want to read it to you.