Greetings from Woodland, CA!
The other day our good friend Tammy Bills, wife of our pastor here, Jeff Bills, gave us 3 of her books to read. The books are, "Supernatural: The Life of William Branham." Many know of Branham's life and ministry. His miracle working ministry was powerful back in the 1940's - early 1960's. During the last months of his life and ministry Branham fell into doctrinal error. Yet in the early days of his ministry, he was used greatly by God.
I am posting a direct quote from the book below. Once again the Book is, "Supernatural: The Life of William Branham." This quote is from "Book Three: The Man and His Commission (1946-1950) by: Owen Jorgensen and published by: Tucson Tabernacle, 2555 North Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85705 USA. (ISBN 0-9700955-3-8) pages 46 & 46.
"In Jonesboro during that Fall of 1946, William Branham stayed on the platform for eight straight days and nights, praying for a steady stream of sick and needy. He ate his meals on the platform and napped behind the pulpit while those in the prayer line stood patiently waiting for him to wake up and resume his work. By the end of the week, Bill's forehead throbbed with weariness. The backs of his hands were raw where he had pulled out the hairs, trying to keep himself awake. Still he did not want to stop. He wanted to stay there until he had prayed for every sick person who came through the doors- but he couldn't. The news of healings and miracles was like a magnet, drawing thousands more to Jonesboro throughout the week. When Bill finally did quit on the eighth night of that Jonesboro healing campaign, the prayer line was longer than it was when he started.
Bill felt exhausted, physically and mentally. Pastor Reed put him to bed, but Bill felt so jittery that he couldn't fall asleep. He thrashed back and forth under the covers for hours. At last, rather than fight it, he decided to drive home to Jeffersonville and collapse in his own bed, where hopefully he could sleep for days undisturbed.
After a few hours of driving, Bill had trouble keeping his eyelids open. To keep himself from falling asleep behind the steering wheel, he beat his leg against the door until the paneling dented out of shape. Once he did doze off. A blaring horn jerked him awake, giving him just enough time to swerve back to his side of the road. Shaken, he pulled the car over and stopped so he could get himself together. Meda (Note from Larry: Meda was Wm Branham's wife) was still asleep in the back seat. Bill got out, hoping that a walk would refresh him. Somewhere he lost himself to exhaustion. When he finally came back to his senses, he found himself standing in a cow pasture with his hands stretched out, mumbling, "Only believe, Sister. That's all you have to do. Just believe." He shook his head fiercely, thinking, "What is the matter with me? I seem to be coming apart."
Reaching Jeffersonville late in the evening, they stopped at Meda's parents house to pick up their children. Rebekah was now five months old. Bill had not seen her for three months, so it was not surprising that she did not recognize him. When he tried to hold her she cried and struggled to get back to her mother. That hurt. "She doesn't know me, " he complained.
Calming Rebekah with the swing of her body Meda nodded at a picture of Bill propped up on an end table. "I've got that same picture of you sitting on our dresser. Everyday I've pointed to it and told her, 'that is your Daddy.'"
Bill looked at the picture, then at his face in the hall mirror. "No wonder she doesn't recognize me. I've lost 20 pounds, I've lost some hair, and my shoulders stoop. I don't look the same at all."
Another shock awaited them when they drove up to their own house - cars lined both sides of the street for several blocks, and there were nearly 200 people waiting for him in his yard."
After reading this portion of the book I was completely over whelmed by the ministry of "Brother Branham." He actually ministered to and healed many thousand people. With no advertising, and only by word of mouth, as many as 25,000 people would attend his meetings, and most of those who were sick were healed. God greatly used this man. Yet, I wanted to share the above quote as it dramatically shows the extreme life style that this man of God had to endure in order to fulfill his calling. I can't help to think that God is no longer in the "one person ministry" any longer. As I read this account I prayed fervently, "Lord raise up millions of William Branhams! Empower Your Church to do the great works of the ministry."
Several years ago, during meetings in the Washington DC area, we met a man who was a part of Binny Hinn's ministry. The same time we were having meetings in a small local church, Benny Hinn was packing out the downtown convention center with better than 45,000 people. Our youngest daughter Ashley was traveling with us in those days, and she was able to attend the youth meetings at the Hinn crusade. Ashley actually got pulled up on the platform and Binny Hinn and Rinehart Bonke layed hands on her and prayed for her. However, Ashley's report was that of thousands thronging to be healed by the healer. Many were actually rude and shoved others out of the way in order to get "their healing." Ashley mentioned that Binny Hinn had called the youth forward for prayer, as that meeting was designated as youth night. Yet hundreds of adults actually shoved the youth out of the way so that they could get prayer instead!
God gave me an important vision after Ashley's report and I was able to share this vision with the man who worked for Benny Hinn. The vision simply was this.... I saw 45,000 people getting packed into the crusade. Then from there I saw the same people, getting Benny Hinn's anointing for healing the sick, and being released back into the streets of Washington DC. Within days the city was changed and transformed!
Folks... God is no longer in the one man show! He's calling His Body, millions of us, to heal the sick, cast out demons, raise the dead and preach the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. I for one want the anointing of William Branham. For sure, I'll pray for thousands, but also, I'll be giving it away to hundreds of thousands so that our world can be healed and transformed, thus advancing the Kingdom of God!
Kingdom blessings ~ Larry
My web site: www.larrysilverman.com