For thousands of years mortal man has wondered about "life after death". Like Job of old, they have asked the timeless question, "If a man die, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14). As mortal man approaches the twenty-first century that question is still being asked my millions. Man is still caused to wonder if Jesus Christ really rose from the dead 2000 years ago, as his disciples claim.
We can lay our fears and doubts to rest because Jesus Christ has proven Himself alive in the Twentieth Century, in the ministry of His servant and Prophet, Bro. William M. Branham. Thousands of times, in a span of 56 years, the Living Christ has manifested His Living Presence through that Ministry. The sick were healed; Creative Miracles were manifested; the very thoughts and intents of the human heart was revealed and the dead were raised. Not one time did any of the visions or prophecies of William Branham fail.
To further vindicate His servant, our Lord Jesus Christ took him beyond the curtain of time, revealing to him the mystery of "life after death" and the nearness of the Resurrection.
Here, Brother Branham picks up the narration to tell of his experience.....
I was dreaming that I was out west and I... coming down through a little sage brush place, and my wife was with me, and we'd been trout fishing. I stopped and opened up the gate, and the skies were so pretty. They didn't look like they do over the valley here. They were blue and the pretty white clouds. And I said to wife, I said, "We ought to have been out here a long time ago, Honey."
She said, "For the children's sake, we should've been, Billy."
I said, "That's right."
And I woke up. I said, "I'm dreaming so much. I wonder why?" And I looked down and she was laying by me. And I raised up on my pillow, as many of you people have done. Put my head upon the headboard of the bed and put my hands behind me. And I was laying there like this and I said, "Well, I just wonder what it will be, the other side. I am already fifty, and I haven't done nothing yet. If I could only do something to help the Lord! For I know I won't be mortal. Half of my time is gone, at least, or more than half. If I live to be as old as my people, still half of my time is gone. And I looked around, and I was laying there fixing to get up. It was about seven o'clock. I said, "I believe I'll go down to church this morning, if I am hoarse, I'd like to hear Brother Neville preach."
So I said, "Are you awake, Honey?" And she was sleeping very soundly.
And I don't want you to miss this. It has changed me. I can't be the same Brother Branham that I was.
And I looked, and I heard something kept saying, "You're just starting. Press the battle. Just keep pressing."
I shook my head a minute and then I thought, "Well, I'm probably just thinking like this, you know, a person can get some imaginations," and I said, "I just probably imagined that."
It said, "Press the battle! Keep going! Keep going!"
And I said, "Maybe I said it."
And I put my lips within my teeth, and put my hand over my mouth, and there it come again, said, "Just keep pressing. If you only knew what was at the end of the road."
And seemed like I could hear Graham Snelling or somebody that sang that song like this. They sing it here, Anna Mae and all of you all, "I am homesick and blue, and I want to see Jesus, I would like to hear those sweet harbor bells chime; it would brighten my path and would vanish all fears; Lord, let me look past the curtain of time." You've heard it sang here at the church.
And I heard Something say, "Would you like to see just beyond the curtain?"
I said, "It would help me so much." And I looked, and in just a moment, one breath, I'd come into a little place that slanted. I looked back, and there I was laying on the bed. I said, "This is a strange thing."
Now, I would not want you to repeat this. This is before my church, or my sheep that I am pastoring. Whether it was I was in this body or out, whether it was a translation, it wasn't like any vision I ever had. I could look there, and I could look here. And when I hit that little place, I never seen so many people come running, screaming, "Oh, our precious brother!" And I looked, and young women, maybe in their early twenties, eighteen to twenty, they were throwing their arms around me and screaming, "Our precious brother!"
Here come young man in the brilliance of young manhood, and their eyes glistened and looking like stars on a darkened night, their teeth as white as pearl, and they were screaming and grabbing me, and screaming, "Oh, our precious brother!" And I stopped and I looked, and I was young. I looked back at my old body laying there with my hands behind my head. I said, "I don't understand this." And these young women throwing their arms around me.
Now, I do realize this is a mixed audience, and I say this with the sweetness and with the mellowness of the Spirit. Man cannot put your arm around women without a human sensation. But it wasn't there. There was no yesterday nor tomorrow. They didn't get tired. They were... I never seen such pretty women in all my life. They had hair way down to their waistline, long skirts to their feet, and they were just a hugging me. It wasn't a hug like even my own sister sitting there would hug me. They were not kissing me, and I was not kissing them. It was something that I have not got the vocabulary; I haven't got the words to say. Perfection wouldn't touch it. Superb wouldn't even touch it nowhere. It was something that I never... You just have to be there.
And I looked this way and that way, and they were coming by the thousands. And I said, "I don't understand this." I said, "Why they..." And here come Hope--that was my first wife. She run and never said, "My husband." She said, "My precious brother." And when she hugged me, there was another woman standing there that'd hugged me, and then Hope hugged this woman, and each one... I thought, "This has to be something different, it can't be. There's something..." Oh, would I ever want to ever go back to that old carcass again? I looked around there and I thought, "What is this?" And I looked real good, and I said, "I can't understand this." But Hope seemed to be like a, oh, a guest of honor." She was no different but just like a guest of honor.
And I heard a Voice then that spoke to me that was in the room, said, "This is what you preached was the Holy Ghost. This is perfect love. And nothing can enter here without It."
I am more determined than ever in my life that it takes perfect love to enter there. There was no jealousy. There was no tiredness. There was no death. Sickness could never enter there. Mortality could never make you old, and they could not cry. It was just one joy, "Oh, my precious brother!"
And they took me up and set me upon a great big high place. And I thought, "I am not dreaming. I'm looking back at my body laying down there on the bed." And they set me up there and I said, "Oh, I shouldn't sit up here."
And here come women and man from both sides just in the bloom of youth, screaming. And one woman was standing there and she screamed, "Oh, my precious brother! Oh, we are so happy to see you here!"
I said, "I don't understand this."
And then that Voice that was speaking from above me, said, "You know it is written in the Bible that the prophets were gathered with their people."
And I said, "Yes, I remember that in the Scriptures."
Said, "Well, this is when you will gather with your people."
I said, "Then they'll be real, and I can feel them."
I said, "But I... There's millions. There's not that many Branhams."
And that Voice said, "They're not Branhams; them's your converts. That's the ones that you've led to the Lord." And said, "Some of them women there that you think are so beautiful were better than ninety years old when you led them to the Lord. No wonder they're screaming, 'Our precious brother!'"
And they screamed all at once, "If you hadn't of went, we wouldn't be here!"
I looked around and I thought, "Well, I don't get it." I said, "Oh, where is Jesus? I want to see Him so bad."
They said, "Now, He's just a little higher, right up that way." Said, "Someday He will come to you." See? Said, "You were sent for a leader. And God will come, and when He does, He will judge you according to what you taught them, first; whether they go in or not. We'll go in according to your teaching."
I said, "Oh, I'm so glad! Did Paul--does he have to stand like this? Does Peter have to stand like this?"
I said, "Then I've preached every word that they preached. I never differed from it one side to the other. Where they baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, I did too. Where they taught the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, I did too. Whatever they taught, I did too."
And them people screamed and said, "We know that, and we know we're going with you someday back to earth!" Said, "Jesus will come, and you'll be judged according to the Word that you preached us. And then if you are accepted at that time, which you will be," and said, "then you will present us to Him as your trophies of your ministry." Said, "You will guide us to Him and altogether we'll go back to earth to live forever."
I said, "Do I have to return back now?"
"Yes, but keep pressing on."
I looked, and I could see the people; just as far as I could see, still coming, wanting to hug me, screaming, "Our precious brother!"
Just then a Voice said, "All that you have ever loved, and all that ever loved you, God has given to you here." And I looked and here come my old dog come walking up. Here come my horse and laid his head up over my shoulder and nickered. Said, "All that you ever loved, and all that ever loved you, God has given them into your hand through your ministry."
And I felt myself move from that beautiful place. And I looked around. I said, "Are you awake, Honey?" She was still asleep. And I thought, "O God, oh, help me, O God. Never let me compromise with one Word. Let me stay right straight on that Word and preach It. I don't care what comes or goes, what anybody does, how many Sauls or sons of Kish rise, how many this, that, or the other, let me, Lord, press to that place.
All fear of death... I say this with my Bible before me this morning. I've got a little boy there, four years old, to be raised. I've got a nine-year-old girl and a teen-ager that I'm thankful for, that's turned the way of the Lord. God, let me live to bring them up in the admonition of God. Above that, the whole world seems to scream to me. Ninety-year-old women and man, and all kinds, "If you hadn't went, we wouldn't have been here." God, let me press the battle. But if it comes to dying, I am no more... It would be a joy, it would be a pleasure to enter from this corruption and disgrace.
If I could make up yonder, one hundred billion miles high, a square block, and that's perfect love. Each step this way, it narrows, until we get down to where we are now, it would be just merely a shadow of corruption. That little something that we can sense and feel that there's something somewhere; we don't know what it is. Oh, my precious friend, my beloved, my darlings of the Gospel, my begotten children unto the God, listen to me your pastor. You... I wish there was some way I could explain it to you. There's no words. I couldn't find it. It's not found anywhere. But just beyond this last breath is the most glorious thing that you ever... There is no way to explain it. There's no way; I just can't do it. But whatever you do, friends, lay aside everything else till you get perfect love. Get to a spot that you can love everybody, every enemy, everything else. That one visit there to me has made me a different man. I can never, never, never be the same Brother Branham that I was.
Whether the planes are rocking, whether lightning's a-flashing, whether the spies has a gun on me, whether it is, it doesn't matter. I'm going to press the battle by the grace of God while I preach the Gospel to every creature and every person that I can, persuading them to that beautiful land yonder. It may seem hard; it may take a lot of strength.
I don't know how much longer. We don't know. Physically speaking, from my examination the other day, said, "You've got twenty-five years of hard, good life. You're solid." That helped me. But, oh that wasn't it. That isn't it. It's something within here. This corruption has got to put on incorruption; this mortal has got to put on immortality.
Sons of Kish may rise, I have... all the good things they do. I have nothing evil to say against it; giving to the poor and to charity. And remember, why, Samuel told Saul, "You'll also prophesy." And many of those man are great mighty preachers, can preach the Word like archangels, but still it wasn't God's will. God was to be their King. And brother, sister, you let the Holy Spirit lead you. Let us bow our heads just a moment.
"I'm so homesick and blue, and I want to see Jesus, I would like to hear those sweet harbor bells chime. It would brighten my path and would vanish all fear; Lord, let us look a-past the curtain of time, Lord, let me look a-past the curtain of sorrows and fear; let me view that sunny bright clime. It would strengthen our faith and would vanish all fear; Lord, let them look a-past the curtain of time."
I'm sure, Lord, if this little church, this morning, could just look a-past the curtain. Not an affliction among them, nor never could be. Not a sickness, nothing but perfection--and it's just one breath between here and there--from old age to youth, from time to Eternity, from a weary of tomorrow and a sorrow of yesterday till a present time of Eternity in perfection.
I pray, God, that You will bless every person here. If there be those here, Lord, who does not know You in that way of love. And truly, Father, nothing could enter that Holy Place without that type of love; the new birth to be born again. The Holy Spirit-- God, is love. And we know that that is true. No matter if we move mountains by our faith, if we did great things, still without that there, we could never climb that great ladder yonder. But with that, it'll lift us beyond this earthly care.
I pray, Father, that You'll bless the people here, and may that every person that has heard me this morning tell this Truth, that You be my witness, Lord. As Samuel of old, "Have I ever told them anything in Your Name but what was true?" They're the judges. And I tell them now, Lord, that You've taken me to that land. Thou knowest that it's true. And now, Father, if there be some that doesn't know You, may this be the hour that they say, "Lord, place within me the will to be Thy will." Grant it, Father.
An Excerpt From A Sermon entitled: The Rejected King, May 15, 1960