One day this last fall, a few weeks ago, taking a little rest before coming to this meeting, I was squirrel hunting. Now, in our country, that's rabbit and squirrels, is about all they hunt. And the reason that I was doing that, was to get some relaxation before coming to this meeting. Mr. Sothmann was with me that morning. He's come from Canada to visit us and stay with us a while, got him a trailer and living close to us, he and some more friends. And so we were squirrel hunting together with Mr. Wood. And also he just lives there by the side of me, and just a chum to be along with me. And then we had went hunting, and it was the last day that I would get to hunt, because I was staged to go to Wyoming the coming Sunday, and then the season would close on Tuesday. And then this was on a Saturday, and be the last time I could hunt in the state of Indiana for squirrels this season. I went hunting quite a bit, and there had been much hunting. There's many hunters there in Indiana for the squirrels. They was all thinned out.
That morning was a bad morning, windy, wind blowing, and they just won't come out on those days. And I went into the woods and I walked till about nine o'clock, could see nothing. Went down on the creek bank. It was turning real cold in Indiana then, about the first of October. I think, to be exactly, it was the eighth of October. And I went down to some old sycamore trees, and squirrels don't live in sycamore trees. They stay in Beech and Oak, and so forth, the thick timber where there's a lot of foliage. And I was walking down a creek and I thought I seen a squirrel up on the side of a little ridge, and there was corn fields out there, and the corn, farmers were gathering their corn. Many of them out there gathering corn.
"Well," I said, "there's no squirrels this morning. And over here's nothing but a big locust thicket, which is nothing there for a squirrel." And the old walnut trees, the leaves all gone, they were bare. And there was no squirrels to be there. I said, "Well, I suppose I'll just sit down here a little bit and kind of warm up," 'cause I just had a shirt on, and no coat. And I sit down between the two trees where the sun would shine on me, slipped my feet up on the other tree, and I was in quite a comfortable position. I thought, "Maybe I'll take a little nap." And I have a little alarm watch. And I thought, "I'll set that watch now to alarm if I happen to go to sleep, and I'll pick up Mr. Wood and Mr. Sothmann at the appropriate time," because they were farther on the road in another woods. So I set my little clock, and--and my little watch, rather, and set down by this tree.
And just as I scooted down to kind of get myself warm, that Scripture came to me "Whatsoever you say, believe that what you say shall come to pass, and you can have what you say."
Well, I thought, "Why does that Scripture keep coming to me, when I can't preach on it because I don't know nothing about it. I could not go before a congregation and try to explain that Scripture." Well, I set there a little bit, and I thought, "There's only one thing to it. If I'm ever called on to preach on that subject, here's the way I'll do it, I'll say, 'Jesus told that to the disciples and gave them that authority. That was about a year and six months before the atonement was made. So if it wasn't in the atonement, it was the other side of the atonement.` So if anybody ever asks me that question, I'll just tell them it was the other side of the atonement. It's the only thing I know, because Jesus was still a-living, the atonement was not made, and He was not wounded for our transgression nor by His stripes were we healed yet. So He just gave them that power the other side of the atonement."
And then, all of a sudden, Something spoke to me, and said, "What about the prophets?" Well, I begin to see then, it begin to unfold to me. "What do you think that taken place in the meeting when you're standing there, do you think you're the one who knows those people? Do you think that it's you that can predict and say to those people that 'You're going to do a certain-certain thing, and a certain-certain thing that has happened to you, and a certain-certain thing will happen to you'? Do you think that's you saying it?" Oh, my! It means so much, it's never left me.
And I thought, "Surely not, Lord. It's You."
"Well, then, do you think it's you talking?"
"Do you think it was the prophets talking? Have not you just got through preaching on the subject that the prophets was so anointed with the Holy Spirit that it wasn't them that done the speaking. It was the Holy Spirit in them crying out. Then whatever you say, if you're anointed, wouldn't be you saying it, it would be the Holy Spirit saying it."
Well, I thought, "If that... That's right. If the person, through the atonement, sanctified by the Blood of Jesus Christ, can live into a sphere with God so close that he can be wrapped so completely in God by the Blood of Jesus, that it wouldn't be him talking, it would be the Holy Spirit speaking these things." And no more than I had said that till the anointing of the Holy Spirit struck me like I have never had before in all my life. God knows that. I raised up to my feet. I got seared.
And Something said to me, "Now this is the beginning of your new ministry. Now ask what you will, and it shall be given to you."
I stood there. I--I don't want to be a fanatic, I... God knows I want to be sane and just and honest and faithful and true. When I--I'm fifty years old, can't be too much longer, I've got to go meet Him. And I want to be... know that everything is perfectly right before I leave this world. And I thought, "I don't want to be off on a deep end of something." I thought, "Maybe I..." Now, I'd bite my finger. I said, "I'm not asleep. I'm not dreaming this. So, something's wrong. And I real numb-like, all over my face and everything. I thought, "Maybe I was just studying it so much till I got into a place I can't shake myself out of it." And I thought, "Usually, when anointing comes deeply, a vision follows it." I thought, "Well, I'll just--I'll just wait here a minute." And I--and I started moving my hands around like this, and walking around.
And Something said, "Say what you will, and it shall be given to you." I waited and listened.
I thought, "Was that... Where You at, Sir?"
And I heard It again, "Ask what you will, and it shall be given unto you. I'm confirming the things that I will do."
And I said, "But what should I..." I thought, "Who am I talking to?" I--I felt like I had lost my mind. I thought, "Who am I talking to? I don't see a person. Where's that Light at? It usually is the One that talks. There's no Light here. Who are You? What do You want?" I thought.
Something said, "Ask what you will."
That's right, I was thinking of that Scripture, Mark 11:23, "Ask what you will." I thought, "Well what would I ask? There's no sick people here. What could I do?" I thought, "There's nothing I... Maybe am I beside myself?" I said, "What would I ask for?"
And Something, just as plain as you hear my voice, said, "Aren't you hunting, and you have no game?"
I said, "That's right." I thought this, "Lord," I said, "if I'm--if I'm doing anything wrong, You forgive me." Now, isn't that awful, if you're "doing anything wrong"? I said, "Lord, if I'm doing anything wrong, forgive me. But is this You? Is this the Scripture that You're trying to get to me? Is this that other step that we're coming up to? You give me a vision, said, 'It would be confirmed in a little building, somewhere in a meeting when the tent's get started'" I said, "Is this what it's leading to? If it is, Lord, then I'll take You by Your Word." I looked around, I thought, "I'll find something impossible." I found that old locust thicket. I said...
I usually set my sights in for fifty yards. The Lord... I'm not a shot, but I--I... If my gun won't drive a tack at fifty yards, it's out. So then I was... I shoot squirrels, never shoot one with his back turned, or head turned. I got to see him just right, and shoot him in the eye with a twenty-two rifle. Now, if they don't, let him go.
So then, and I said, "There's fifty yards," about the distance across this building. I said, "And there shall come a young red squirrel and sit on that old naked limb out yonder, and I'll shoot him from right here." And there come the squirrel. I turned the gun, aimed up through the little telescope sight, I seen its eye, shot it, dropped down. I walked over to look at it, I thought, "It's bleeding. A vision don't bleed." And I--I looked at it, picked the squirrel up, felt it. It was a real squirrel. I got real scared. And I thought, "Well, you know, it just happened. That's all, it just happened like that."
So I started to walk away. I thought, "But a squirrel, out here in this locust thicket? Why, they'd be back over yonder in the woods. They wouldn't walk out there like that." And I been hunting, all morning. So I stood there just a little bit, and I said, "Lord, if was You, the Bible said 'two or three witness' is a confirmation. It can't happen a second time."
So I walked up the side of the hill and sat down. And I said, "Now here I'm acting crazy." And I said, "Well, I--I'll just get ready and go home now." I said, It'll... But I thought, "Believe I'll try." And I said, "And there shall come another squirrel and set over there in them bunch of grape vines right there." I took my finger down and looked back. I didn't see any squirrel. I said, "Well!" Looked back, and I thought, "What is that there?" Pulled up my telescope, and there set a squirrel looking right at me, fifty yards away. I shot the squirrel. Walked over to pick him up, to see if it was a vision. But it wasn't a vision, it was a squirrel. I eat them. So they... And I--I picked up that one, and I thought, "Oh, my!" I just felt real funny. I thought, "Two. But you said 'three.`" Well, I said, "This, I--I--I kind of believe it was You, Lord." I said, "Maybe you're going to do something for the people now, you're going to help Your people. So I thank You very much. And I--I thank you, Sir. I took off my hat, and I said, "I--I certainly thank You, Sir. I--I believe You now, and You're going to do something for Your people, so I sure appreciate it, Father dear." And I said, "Now I'll be going home."
It said, "But you said you wanted three."
Well, I said, "Yes." Now, that seemed like there's something inside of me. I didn't hear a voice, but just something inside of me said that. Well, I thought, "I'll make this one so radical that it--it'll have to be something Supernatural." And I looked out in the field, towards the field, there was just a big old slick snag out there, with one big old limb run out. I said, "And it shall come to pass, there will be a young squirrel go out on that limb, sit on the end of the limb, and look over at the farmers cutting their corn, shucking their corn. And I'll kill him from this tree right here. It shall be that way." I stood there a minute, no squirrel, looked back. About five minutes passed, no squirrel. Well, I said, I thought, "Well, this is enough, anyhow, it's getting time for me to go." I said, "I better go."
And I started to walk away. And, as I did, Something said, "But you've already spoke it, And the Scripture says, 'If you'll not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you have said.`" Hallelujah!
I waited up against the side of a tree. I looked off, looked back, there's no squirrel. I waited another ten minutes, no squirrel. I said, "How could a squirrel ever get out there?" So I said, "Well, I guess I'll just move along. And I'll be going on, because it's time to pick up Mr. Sothmann and them, so I'll just walk on," I started to walk away like that.
Said, "Are you doubting?" God knows how to school you. "Are you doubting that what you said?"
I said, "No, I'm not doubting." And just as I said that, coming out that limb come a young squirrel, walked out to the end of the limb and stood and looked over at the farmers. I shot him from right there, making my three squirrels. Now, I said, "I'm going to see if there's another squirrel in this territory." And I was about three hours late, picking up Mr. Sothmann and them, couldn't even hear one. I went home, I told them. It bothered me, I didn't know what to think about it.
About two weeks later I was down in the state of Kentucky, where squirrel season was still in, with friends of mine, Mr. Woods and his brother-in-law. And I was standing down there. And we went hunting that morning, and, oh, windy, and the leaves all off the trees, a bad time to squirrel hunt. So we... good hunters wasn't catching over about one a day. And--and you had to be, have a shotgun, to get them with it then. And be... [Blank spot on tape--Ed.]
"And you shall have them." I thought, "Now, here, I don't--I-- I--I don't know about that, now. It's too unlikely this morning, sure enough, and not no squirrels in here at this time of year. And it's so cold, we had on so many clothes I was just shivering as hard as I could. I thought, "No squirrels." And leaves about that deep on the ground. You could hear you like a herd of antelope coming through. And so I was walking along like that, and it struck me again, and said, "Ask what you will." And I stopped and put my gun down, took off my hat. And I said, "Heavenly Father, I'm down here in these mountains, what--what's these things about? "Is that You speaking to me? Is it You, Lord? Where You at? I usually see that, Your Light. Where are You at? Speak to me, Lord. If there's anything You want me to do, I'll do it. Have I found grace in Your sight?" I said, "I... You speak to me."
And said, "Ask what you will, and it'll be given to you."
I said, "Then if that be You, I shall have my three squirrels, this morning, gray squirrels." (That's reds in Indiana.) And I said, "I shall have my three squirrels."
Something said, "Which way will they come from?"
I thought, "There it is." I could hear it just as plain as you hear me. And I said, "One will come from this a way; one will come from back that way; and one will come from that way." I leaned up against a little tree and waited a few minutes. I didn't see any squirrels. Getting late, time to go back, almost. I looked back across the hill, and way up about a hundred and twenty-five yards, I guess, I seen something, looked like it was on a stump. A gray squirrel is very small. I looked through the little telescope, and I couldn't tell it was a squirrel or not. I kept watching. It jumped off the stump, started down by the side of the tree. Well, that's an awful long shot. But I just knelt down on my knee and laid my gun across the side of my hand, killed the squirrel.
I said, "That then, the next one will have to come from this a way." So I just turned myself on the tree, and I said, "It will come this a way." I waited about fifteen minutes, here come a squirrel. So I throwed another shell up in the gun and leveled down. And just as I started to level down, the second squirrel come. I said, "Oh, praise the Lord, there's the second one. There they are." So I raised up and shot the first one, killed him right dead, hit him right through the eye. And then--and then this other squirrel run, jumped upon a log, and it run under the log, picked up a hickory nut and started eating it. Just a perfect shot, about fifty yards. I thought, "There's my second squirrel. That's one, two, three, just what I asked for." I laid my gun down, and shot. And I hit the log.
Now, out of about a hundred and forty-nine squirrels this year, I've only missed five shots. So then I thought, "How did I miss that squirrel?" Never scared him. He jumped up, run back down at the other side of the log, and stood and looked around. I put another shell in. I thought, "I'll sure get him this time." I leveled down, right across the hair, right across his eye, pulled the trigger. I hit about two foot under him. I said, "My, this gun's out. There's something wrong with this gun," not thinking. And then he jumped off the log and run right broad-sided from me. I said, "Well, I haven't shot a squirrel sideways in a long time, but I'm going to see if this gun's out or not." I said, "I'll certainly get him this time." Maybe I'm just cold and shaky. So I got a little bush and leaned the gun against the bush, and leveled down till I was right broadside him, not over about thirty-five yards away, the squirrel was running down the hill. Right across the mid-center of him, pulled the trigger. And I don't know where I hit, I missed the squirrel. And I was out of shells in my little old gun, so the squirrel went up over the hill. And I thought, "There, I missed three straight shots. And the whole season through, and only missed five. How could it be?" Then I happened to think, "I couldn't have got that squirrel, I said the other one would come from this a-way. She wasn't there." But His Word is perfect. See?
Then I started waiting, and almost dark. I said, "If the other squirrel comes, I'm going to have to shoot him real close to me, 'cause there's a thicket here. And he has to come down through this thicket, the only way he can. Well, I thought, "Well, it wasn't so this time, that--that anointing, maybe--maybe I just happened to get those two." So I went over and picked my squirrels up and started home. And it was real dark in the hollow. And I started down through the hollow."
Something said to me, "What about that other squirrel?"
And I said, "Well, I--I--I've already got two, and so it's too late now. I can't even see through my scope, hardly, see, too late to get one now." And I started on down.
Something said, "Turn and go back and get the other squirrel. You've already said it."
So I turned, and I hadn't walked about ten steps. Now listen close. And I seen the squirrel run up a tree about sixty or seventy yards from me. So dark, it had to be just a light across the top of the mountain, or I wouldn't have seen him. And I--I leveled the gun down. I couldn't see the squirrel, kept looking back and forth, and I thought, "Where is he at?" After a while, looked like a knot on the tree stuck around, I thought, "That's his head." So I shot. The squirrel run down the tree and I heard something hit the leaves. I thought he must have jumped off, and about that time about fifteen yards from it, another squirrel run up a tree. I said, "That was that squirrel. I missed him, and he run around and run up that tree." So I watched real dose, and so dark, and the wind blowing so hard. I thought I seen some leaves with something moving. I thought, "Well, I'm--I'm going to shoot at it anyhow. And I shot. I heard that squirrel hit the ground, plump. It really killed him right out. "Well," I said, "I missed him on that tree, but got him over here. Just a little bit out of line." I said, "I'll go over and get him." So I walked on up the hill. And, when I got to this first tree, there laid my squirrel, the first one, right in line exactly the way I pointed. God in Heaven knows that's true. Right the way I pointed.
Well, I went over, I said, "Well, that makes me four, He gave me one for good measure. That's good." I said, "I said 'three,' and I got four. That's good." So I went over to pick up the other it wasn't there, and yet I knowed I killed that squirrel. Well, I searched everything around there, waiting, feeling with my hands in the darkness, through the leaves, and busted open an old log, and everything, thought he might have just hurt him, and he pulled away. Finally I found a little hole in a snag, I begin to run my stick in there and pull around. I'd feel something fall off, and I said, "It's the squirrel." But the hole was too little to get my hands in. I'll have to get an ax or something, cut it. So I put a big rock or chunk against it, and went on down. And I told my brethren when I got to the bottom of the hill. They begin to praise the Lord and shout.
That night I was telling once a group of mountain people that had come, gathered in, and we were all praising the Lord. And one of my deacons, by the name of Tony, that's in my church, he was-- he was with me. And that night when we started to go to bed, he prayed before those people, he said, "Now, Lord," we asked him to lead in prayer, he said, "now, Lord, to confirm that our brother has told the truth, let him find that squirrel tomorrow in the log, so that we'll know he's told the truth."
It looked like my heart just dropped out of me. "Know that I've told the truth?" Something like that, and would tell a lie about it? God forbid! Such a hypocrite. And I thought, "How would a man that loves me, and a man of that caliber. A man that his wife laid dying on the floor, and the doctors had walked away from her; went over and offered prayer for her, she got up and went to church with me. How could he question my word? How did he say that?" And the other brethren caught it.
The next morning at the table, early before daylight, he said, "Well, Brother Branham, we'll go up and get your squirrel. We'll get one today, anyhow, 'cause it'll be in there."
I said, "Brother Tony, you just didn't understand. When I spoke under the inspiration, I said 'three squirrels,' that fourth one had nothing to do with it."
"Oh," he said, "he's in that log, anyhow. We'll know by that."
I looked across the table, and I thought, "Brother Tony, would you--would you doubt me telling you the truth?" And I never said nothing. The brethren looked at each other.
And we went on to the woods. And when we started to leave the cars, for different ways, well, I thought I'd go up and get my squirrel if he was there. And I thought I'd go back and tell Brother Tony, but something just kept pressing me on. And I went on to... Now, that was just about a week before I come here. And I went on up. And when I got started up there, something said to me, "What if that squirrel isn't in there? Now what? And there your own deacon will say that it's not right."
Now the Lord knows these words are true, exactly perfectly to the best of my knowledge in my heart. And I started walking on, I thought, "Well, I sure hope it's there, that's one thing sure. I certainly hope it." I had never said nothing about that squirrel. It was... You all understand? How many understands what it--what it was about? Sure. The three squirrels was what I had spoke about. The fourth one had nothing to do with it. But the Lord knows how to train and what to do.
So going on up there, that anointing struck me again, and said, "If it isn't there, say it'll be there, and you'll find the squirrel."
And I said, "Lord, I'm taking Your Word now." I said, "And I shall find the squirrel." On up the mountain I went. I thought, "No need of me fearing anymore, 'cause I'm going to find it, that's all. I done said it. And the Lord said, when that anointing was on me when I said anything, it would be that way. So I'm going on."
I hunted all around, I looked. About fifteen minutes time to get back down the mountain, I thought, "Better go get my squirrel." I went up there, and pulled the chunk out of the hole, and begin to feel in there. I could feel that. Pick it up, feel like something fall off like that, like the squirrel on the end of the stick, and fall off. I had a big old hunting knife, and got me a big rock and cut the hole big enough to get my hand in, and I looked in there. I was picking up some roots that was falling, some roots under, was laying in this old snag. I thought, "Oh, my, and we're supposed to be there at exactly nine o'clock. So I'll... Now, with no squirrel!" And, oh, my, that morning was terrible, it was a blizzardy and going on. And I thought, "That's terrible." So I thought, "Well, there's only one thing that I can do to prove it. Now, Lord, it wasn't Your fault. Because You, when I... You told me that, to speak. And I spoke for those three, and the three was there. But Brother Tony just misunderstood it, that's all." And I said, "I'm going back down and pick him up and the other brethren, and bring them here and show them where the--where the stump was, to let them know that I--I--I thought I was right. I told the truth about knowing the squirrel was there." And I put... started down the hill.
And Something said to me, "But you said, coming up, that you would find the squirrel." Amen. Oh, you just don't know what that does to me. "You said you shall find the squirrel."
I thought, "Where could I find him? Here's the woods, not a leaf on a tree, and they're all piled up around here. There's the tree where the squirrel fell. Here's just one thing he could have hid under, would have been this log. And I've took every little piece away from it, not another hole in the tree, nowhere. And there's the only place."
But He said, "You said you would find it.
Well, I kicked around in the leaves and everything, I thought, "Oh, Billy, you've went off, I believe, at the deep end." And I started going on down, started.
Said, "But you said you would find it."
I thought, "That's right. I said when that anointing was on me, 'I shall find the squirrel.` And if that's a confirmation of my ministry beginning again, then the squirrel has got to be here somewhere." I said, "I can't find it. Where's it at?"
Something said, "Look under that piece of bark." And I went and pick, started to pick.
I said, "Yes, praise the Lord, it's under the bark."
And I went over to pick up the piece of bark, and something said, "But what if it isn't under there?"
"Oh," I said, "it'll be under there." And I picked it up, and there was no squirrel. And I thought, "There's something funny." Now, but I said! That was the same inspiration that told me the three would be there, the same inspiration was on me when I said that would be there. So it's got... I looked down there again. I seen just a little, couple of little gray hairs sticking out from under the leaves. I picked it up, and there was my squirrel. Now, you talk about a little Irish-man shouting, you ought to have heard me going down that hill! I really was a happy boy.
I went home and told the folks about it. And, my, how we was
all rejoicing! Brother Tony said, "Brother Branham, I didn't know
I prayed that way." And I said, "But, you did, and Brother
Charlie and them was talking about it," how that he--he did pray
Adapted from the book, published by Voice of God Recordings, called "Footprints on the Sands of Time", which is a compilation of excerpts, by William Branham, taken from over one thousand tape recorded sermons.
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