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The Pillar Of Fire
Brother Branham often describes a Pillar of Fire that vindicated his ministry. It was present at his birth, was seen by thousands on the bank of the Ohio River, and seemed to follow him everywhere he went. It was in 1950 that the Lord gave both believers and unbelievers alike infallible proof that this Pillar of Fire was with the prophet.
The night was shrouded in controversy at the Sam Houston Coliseum. Brother Branham was leading a healing revival that was sweeping the land. The blessings of the Lord Jesus were pouring out like rain upon the spiritual fields of wheat. But the great signs and wonders did not come without criticism. Like always, the enemy raised up an adversary. The two forces met in Houston Texas, and the Angel of the Lord Himself came down to fight the battle.
Thousands were already present to witness the countless miracles that followed this man of God. A day earlier, a group of local ministers challenged the prophet to a debate over Divine healing, but the challenge fell to the prophet’s loyal old companion, Reverend F.F. Bosworth. The many skeptics were championed by a local Baptist minister and vocal critic of Divine healing. The upcoming debate was leaked to the newspapers, which quickly published the headlines,
“The Theological Fur Will Fly At 7 p.m. Today In The Sam Houston Coliseum.”
The skeptic hired a professional photographer, Ted Kipperman of Douglas Studios, to document the debate. That evening, the photos were taken with Brother Bosworth standing modestly as the skeptic posed in intimidating positions; one time with his finger thrust into the humble old man’s face.
When the debate began, Reverend Bosworth quickly proved the certainty of Divine healing with Scriptural evidence and then, to leave no question, asked for all that had been healed of their infirmities to rise. Thousands rose to their feet. After those that were healed took their seats, he asked if all those healed by Divine healing that were members in good standing of this man’s denomination would stand. Three hundred church members rose to proudly display the mercy that Lord Jesus had shown them.
The challenge then came from the skeptic. “Let that Divine healer come forth. Let him perform.” Brother Bosworth made it clear that Jesus was the only Divine Healer, but the ranting from the skeptic continued. Finally, Brother Bosworth invited Brother Branham to the platform. He accepted the invitation amid shouts of support.
The prophet, filled with the Holy Ghost, gave the following response:
I can’t heal no one. This I do say. When I was a baby born up in the State of Kentucky, according to my own dear mother, and which has been vindicated through my life, there was a Light came in the room of that little old huddle there, where it was at, no floor in it, didn’t even have a window, they just had a little old thing for a window there, like a little door, and they pushed it open about five o’clock in the morning, and this Light circled in just as it was breaking day. Since that time, It’s been with me. It’s an Angel of God. He met me in person a few years ago. Down through my life, He told me things that’s happened, and I have told them just as He told me. And I challenge anybody at any place, to go to the city where I was raised, or anywhere else, that a statement has ever been made in the Name of the Lord, but what come just exactly the way it said it would.
After he said those words, the Holy Spirit fell upon the platform, and the excited photographer snapped a picture. Brother Branham left the platform with the simple, yet prophetic statement:
“God will testify. I shall say no more.”
Mr. Kipperman’s associate quickly went to work developing the pictures for the next morning’s news. He noticed something odd as he drew the first photograph from the developing solution. It, like the next five photographs, was blank. He grabbed his heart and fell forward when he pulled the last print from the solution. There, on that last photograph, was the Pillar of Fire in a visible form resting over the head of God’s prophet, William Marrion Branham.
The children of Israel witnessed the Pillar of Fire leading Moses, and the people of this modern day have witnessed that same Pillar of Fire leading another prophet.
The photograph was quickly turned over to George J. Lacy, Professional Examiner of Questioned Documents for the U.S. F.B.I., who authenticated the picture with his expert opinion. The official document produced by Mr. Lacy is on the next page.
This was long before computers or digital cameras, and could not be explained by any methods known to science, other than there was an actual Light above the head of William Branham. Today that same photograph can be seen in the United States Library Of Congress, in the nation’s capital, Washington DC.