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The Power of Seventeen

John Collins10/25/2013

In his book, “Against Heresies,” Irenaeus describes how Simon the Magician and his followers had infected the early church by casting a spell on the people using numbers.  They would repeat numbers, bind them to events, call the numbers spiritual, and inform the people that these numbers represented the things of God.  Irenaeus tells us that these numbers are the work of the devil himself, and that ancient forms of evil were being resurrected in an attempt to crush Christianity before it began to make its way around the earth.

In a publication last year, we examined Branham’s use of the “lucky numbers” throughout his sermons from 1947 to 1965 – how he would repeatedly use the two numbers in his set to describe visual settings, spiritual events, and even the numbers of his own name for the sole purpose of creating a feeling of spiritual enlightenment by being part of his following.  But we never fully examined the number that Branham felt was the most powerful of all.

This was the number seventeen.

Seventeen was used throughout his ministry, from start to finish, in a spell-binding way of capturing the heats of men.  One might examine a few instances of this number, and cast each statement aside as simply “nonsense,” however when you line them up, we find that there is a much darker evil involved in his usage of this number.  Not only did he use this number to captivate the masses, he added extra details to the Bible, denying the very last chapter of the book of Revelation.  The curses would be added to those who add to the book.

According to Branham, he knew the exact date of the Great Flood.  This day, of course, had to be his lucky number of seventeen:

 

And then I know the day that he went in, I think what... can't think of what day it was, I believe the seventeenth day of May. Noah entered into the ark, and God shut the door.

65-1128E  ON.THE.WINGS.OF.A.SNOW.WHITE.DOVE

And the Houston Coliseum, the location of the photograph that hangs on the walls of the cult follower’s homes and workplace was a building that held seventeen thousand people.

We leave from there to the Houston, Texas, at the coliseum. Got a nice big building there; it seats seventeen thousand people, and we're just expecting a great time.

49-1225  THE.DEITY.OF.JESUS.CHRIST

The Sam Houston Coliseum was opened in 1937, and originally was built as a rodeo arena.  From the start, this convention center served as the main location for large concerts in the 60's and 70's, but its seating capacity was only listed at 9,217.  It is believed that the floor seating for concerts probably increased it to over 10,000, but at the time Branham made this statement, it was several thousand people short of his lucky number.

But he promoted the lucky number of seventeen for seating, and then decided to hold a seventeen-day campaign in this coliseum:

So thankful that I'm here again tonight in Houston to minister one of my longest meetings. We have seventeen straight nights to be at Houston this time. That's the longest meeting I've ever held since our meetings has got into a larger calibers. I trust to God that it'll prove to be a great meeting.

50-0110  MOSES

Branham liked to describe people of the Bible – many of them – as seventeen years old during the stories.  Extra-biblical details were given to describe Mary, the mother of Jesus, as being seventeen years old when she was engaged to Joseph:

And I can see little Mary, about seventeen years old, engaged to a man about forty-five, some children. Here she come up along. But she was righteous in her heart, because Joseph was a just man before God.

50-0716  BELIEVEST.THOU.THIS

 

Now, and here's what I believe: That virgin Mary, was just a little girl, seventeen, eighteen years old, was going with a man, Joseph.

51-0930A  WHAT.THINK.YE.OF.CHRIST

His live stories contained several instances of the number seventeen.  The most recognizable fiction was the idea that he could still be alive during the times when his heart was only beating seventeen times per minute:

 

My heart was only beating seventeen times per minute.

50-0827A  PRODIGAL

 

And the thought of a poor child in the 1917 Indiana school system having to trudge through the mounds of snow as a captivating story – especially when the mounds of snow reached seventeen feet high.  It is only fitting that the 17th year of the 1900’s produced such a blizzard:

I remember in 1917, we were in school. And come a great snow in Indiana, and the... Oh, the drifted sometimes as much as seventeen, eighteen feet high. And it started raining and sleet. It froze a crust, oh, some inch and a half thick.

51-0415A  LIFE.STORY

 

And I remember, that winter at school all the kiddies... It was 1917; there was a big snow in Indiana, I guess you got it over here in Ohio too, any of you can remember back that far. So there was a... Sleeted, and sometimes the drifts would be seventeen, eighteen feet deep.

51-0722A  LIFE.STORY

 

When he would tell his “ghost stories” that would make great horror movies, it seemed to involve the number seventeen.  When the ghost played the piano, and the people were converted to Christ through sheer horror instead of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there were seventeen hundred people saved:

There seventeen hundred people rushed to the altar, giving their hearts to Christ when they seen the ivory keys of that piano moving back and forth, the "Great Physician Now Is Near." I tell you: God's still God.

51-0502  THE.ANGEL.OF.THE.LORD

You’ll remember his story of the congressman Upshaw, who Branham claimed to be only seventeen years old when he became crippled.

For instance, Mr. Upshaw here that was crippled for sixty-six years. There's not a one of you that was in the condition that he was in since a little boy, and tried to be healed when he was seventeen years old when he had his back first broke.

51-0505  MY.COMMISSION

In his testimony for the Voice of Healing magazine, Upshaw states that he been saved at age eighteen – not seventeen – just prior to a farm accident that left him crippled.  But Branham applied the lucky number seventeen to Mr. Upshaw in multiple ways.  Not only was his age seventeen when the unfortunate accident placed him into a wheelchair, Branham claimed that Mr. Upshaw was a congressman for seventeen years:

52-0713A  EARLY.SPIRITUAL.EXPERIENCES_  HAMMOND.IN  SUNDAY_

Now, this--this gentleman setting here, the Congressmen of the United State. How long was you in Congress? About seventeen years wasn't it? Yeah.

 

And he was a State Senator of Georgia and was a congressman seventeen years, and retired from the congressman of the United States. Been a total invalid for sixty-six years, an invalid in a wheelchair and crutches and bed and so forth.

53-1130  HAS.THE.LORD.SPOKEN.ONLY.TO.MOSES

Truthfully, Upshaw only served eight years in Congress, from 1919–1927.

But the number seventeen was used throughout the ministry.  When Branham told the racist story that compared himself to Elisha, the boy he described was seventeen years of age:

Here was a great big stout looking boy, about a hundred and eighty pounds, around seventeen, eighteen years old, laying there with a blanket in his hand, going, "Mummm, Mummm," like that. He said, "It's so cold, mama. Mummm."

51-0714  EXPECTATION

And Branham claimed that his power to heal was given to him seventeen years prior, when he accepted Christ.

Now, you wasn't saved ten years ago, or two years ago, or three years ago. I wasn't saved seventeen years ago. I was saved two thousand years ago. But I accepted it seventeen years ago.

51-0717  THE.MANIFESTATION.OF.THE.SPIRIT

And it was seventeen years of age that Branham claims to have signed up for the United States Navy.  Fortunately for our country, his mother broke all rules of the government to snatch him back home:

I remember when I was seventeen I signed up in the Navy. My mother taken that out of me when I got home. Then when the next war come, well, they wouldn't have me.

52-0720A  LIFE.STORY

 

The city of Jeffersonville, where Branham was living during a great portion of his life, was a bustling metropolis for its day, according to William Branham.  Seventeen thousand people!

 

Do you like Indiana? It's a wonderful state. It's a... I've spoke of it around the world. See? Jeffersonville, Indiana. Little old... Was you ever in Jeffersonville? No? It's a little, bitty, old city down there of about seventeen thousand population, but... Well, it's called "little Chicago." Ha-ha-ha. Much gambling, you know, there's much gambling.

52-0720E  WHO.HAS.BELIEVED.OUR.REPORT

This, of course is not true.  In 1930, there were only 11,946 people in the city of Jeffersonville, increasing to 11,493 in the 40’s and 14,685 in the 50’s.

 He nearly died because of the number seventeen.  His heart was only beating seventeen times per minute, defying the laws of nature:

   

I was laying yonder in the hospital. The doctor walked in, looked at me. He said, "My boy, you have three minutes more to live. Your heart's beating seventeen times in a minute." Darkest hour, then Jesus come along. Yes.

52-0810A  I.AM.THE.RESURRECTION.AND.THE.LIFE

But he claimed to have recovered, and went on to work for the public service for exactly seventeen years:

And I'm going to lay this really home. I used to be, when I was here, I was the pastor, I was the song leader, I took up the offerings, I paid the debts, I was the janitor, and I was the carpenter, and I just cleaned the ashes out of the stove, and done whatever come along to be done, then worked at the Public Service Company on the side. Seventeen years of that, I was here.

53-0325  ISRAEL.AND.THE.CHURCH

Was it public service?  No … wait a minute.  I think it might have been Game Warden:

I pastored a Baptist tabernacle for seventeen years in Jeffersonville, without even a salary. I never took an offering. I worked as... I was a Game Warden, state of Indiana. And I never took an offering in my life.

56-0415  THE.DEEP.CALLING.TO.THE.DEEP

Notice he said “Baptist tabernacle” so that nobody would catch him in his lie about his conversion to Christ.  He was a minister of the Pentecostal Tabernacle.

 

I've got to come down here, and then leave here and go over to speak to a group of missionaries that's in Louisville. I think--I think it's either seventeen or twenty-seven nations represented at a missionary rally. They wanted me to have a few minutes over there tomorrow night. Sun... Sunday morning is the...

53-0403  THE.CRUELTY.OF.SIN

Was it missionaries?  Maybe he was remembering the seventeen groups of people of the Asian Indian Jains religion that he met at the Jains temple:

And I just had a entertainment in India, where seventeen different religions anti-christian met with me in the Sikh--in the Jains temple. And they're seventeen different religions antichrist.

54-1203  THE.LAW.HAVING.A.SHADOW

 

That night when we went out to the meeting, they taken me over. It was almost impossible. The next day, I was entertained by seventeen different religions of India. Think of it: seventeen different religions, each one of them downed Christianity.

They taken me to the temple of the Jains.

55-0220A  THE.SECOND.COMING

 

Was it missionaries for the Jain religion?  Maybe it was seventeen monarchs:

 

When I stood at Bombay, India, about a little over a year ago... When seventeen different monarchs of their country there, the different religions, set around on silk pillows, and five hundred thousand jamming the streets...

55-1113  JESUS.CHRIST.THE.SAME.YESTERDAY.TODAY.AND.FOREVER

 

And let’s pause normal conversation about the story of Mr. Best and Mr. Bosworth to let everyone know that “Christ is the Healer” is translated to … seventeen languages!

So then, Mr. Best jumped up and said, "Let me see that Divine healer."

Mr. Bosworth said, "Why, he isn't a Divine healer." Said, "His--his books are translated about seventeen different languages. Never has he said he was a Divine healer. He just prays for the sick. Christ is the Healer."

53-0509  THE.PILLAR.OF.FIRE

 

Maybe that’s why Branham decided to publish his own life story in seventeen different languages!

 

How many has read my life story on that? I guess everybody in here. See?  It's published in seventeen different languages around the world.

53-0612  PALMERWORM.LOCUST.CANKERWORM.CATERPILLAR

Sarah was exactly seventeen when she married Abraham!

Now watch, a man be so set in his ecclesiastical ways, yet knowing he was standing in the presence of an Angel, said, "How could these things be?" Why, in other words, "they can't be, my wife's fifty years old, or sixty. Why, I lived with her since she was a little girl, seventeen, eighteen, years old, and she's past the age of bearing. These things can't be."

53-0607A  THE.MINISTRY.OF.CHRIST

 

Notice Abraham after coming out. Now, he went and told Sarah, "Sarah..." They'd probably been married since they were young folks: Abraham, say twenty-seven and her seventeen, something like that.

54-0306  THE.UNCONDITIONAL.COVENANT.THAT.GOD.MADE

Maybe that is why Abraham chose to sacrifice Isaac when he was seventeen!

Here's the youngster, becomes about sixteen years old, seventeen, the very heart of this old man and woman; lovely, the little fellow.

Now, God speaks to Abraham, one night, said, "Abraham, take him up there to the mount, and offer him up. Kill him." And yet, God had promised Abraham that, "Through Isaac all the nations of the world would be blessed."

54-0404E  GOD.HAS.A.PROVIDED.WAY

Or the reason God spoke to the heart of young David, at the ripe young age of seventeen. 

And he said to the men of Israel, "Do you mean to tell me that you'll stand and let that uncircumcised Philistine defy the armies of the living God? I'll go fight him." Oh, my. A little bitty drawed over, knotty looking thing, the Bible said he was ruddy, just a little old boy about seventeen, eighteen years old, kinda, maybe stooped in his shoulders from hard work

58-0518  TESTED.FAITH.PRODUCES.GOODS

 

…yes, you’re correct.  The Bible does not say that David was seventeen – he made that part up.

Even the fortune teller in Branham’s fictional life story was seventeen years of age:

And this little fortune-teller, a young lady, seventeen or eighteen years old. She said, "Say, you, come here." And I walked over to her. She said, "Did you know you were borned under a sign?"

60-0210M  THE.REVELATION.THAT.WAS.GIVEN.TO.ME

But seventeen is powerful – powerful enough to change the number of children Suzanna Wesley had from nineteen to seventeen:

I think about John Wesley's mother, Susanna. She was a mother of seventeen children. And she had time to spend, I think it was either, two or three hours every day in prayer, and raise, and mother seventeen children--which brought forth one of the world's greatest preachers and one of the greatest song writers of the day, Charles and John--because she took time to serve God and not dally in the things of the world.

58-1001  LIFTING.HIM.UP.OUT.OF.HISTORY

It was powerful enough that Branham decided to implement a similar strategy of seventeen children for his own grandmother:

And so Dad come to find his older brother. Dad was the youngest of the boys, of seventeen children.

59-0419A  MY.LIFE.STORY

 

And that he decided to travel to Phoenix when he turned seventeen:

Remember, my first visit to Phoenix, I was just about, well, I was about sixteen, seventeen years old. It's been around thirty years ago.

60-0228  CONFERENCES

Seventeen is even powerful in your love life.  His father fancied the seventeen-year-old girls

 

But I can remember when my father's still up there running, I had to be out there with water and stuff, see young ladies that wasn't over seventeen, eighteen years old, up there with men my age now, drunk.

59-0419A  MY.LIFE.STORY

 

So did the other Christians who did not believe in his message, according to Branham:

 

And I never was so embarrassed in all my life. There's a great big fellow setting up there with a big hat on, all flowered up like this, and all kinds of robes, and things on. And the little boys and girls of sixteen, seventeen years old, sleeping together in the hotel room.

60-0607  HEARING.RECEIVING.AND.ACTING

Seventeen was powerful enough for the disciples to give seventeen inches a yard:

 

Them disciples were good men. They were righteous men. They paid they're debts. They were honest. They'd give seventeen inches in a yard and so many ounces over a pound and will go one mile they go two.

58-1002  BUT.FROM.THE.BEGINNING.IT.WAS.NOT.SO

Powerful enough that Napoleon became a teetotaler:

Many men has set out to conquer. Did you know that? Napoleon set out to conquer the world, and he did at the age of thirty-three. At the age of seventeen to twenty-five, Napoleon was a prohibitionist, he didn't believe in drinking or anything.

60-1204E  THE.PATMOS.VISION

But it was also very dangerous.  Branham’s beloved dog Fritz died when Branham was seventeen years old:

When I come home and buried... I was just about sixteen, seventeen years old. And I patted the last bit of dirt on there.

I said, "Fritz, I'll--I--I'll kill that man for that."

60-0608  HAVING.CONFERENCES

The number seventeen can cause sixteen imaginary men to fall from a bridge:

Exactly seventeen years from that day, the Municipal Bridge at Jeffersonville spanned over to Kentucky, and the seventh... And the sixteen man lost their life on it

64-0621  THE.TRIAL

 

(This is, of course, the failed prophecy of the Municipal bridge.  Only two men died during its construction, neither from their fall from the bridge.  Branham likely was referring to the Big Four bridge in Jeffersonville, that was built long before he was born)

And it causes loss of memory.  One can easily forget a ministry that started in the thirties when you use the number seventeen.  An entire portion of your life can be lost, and you can mistakenly think that you’ve been behind the pulpit for seventeen years instead:

And they have tried many things, the little tabernacle here. And finally... I kept quiet in it, just to see, after I had built it. And then the Lord called me out into the field, about fifteen, sixteen years ago, and I left the church.

But, still, I just can't turn it out. I've always kept my name attached to it, so that I could be a vote sometime if the wrong thing got started in here. I'd have a right to come and--and stop it, because I've sweated it out for many years behind this pulpit, seventeen years in here, to keep the thing straight.

62-0601  TAKING.SIDES.WITH.JESUS

This, of course, is not true.  It was only seventeen years after his first “supernatural experience” that he became assistant pastor to Roy E. Davis, according to his life stories:

Then, about seventeen years after that, I was, had become a minister, a Baptist preacher, of the Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. Roy E. Davis ordained me as one of the local pastors, give me rights then, by the state, to marry, bury, baptize, so forth.

64-0427  A.TRIAL

It can also make you forget how long you have been praying for the sick.  It is a good thing that we have the 1945 pamphlet to remind us of his wide-spread ministry prior to 1945, or we would mistakenly think that his ministry started in 1948:

And I believe the same thing is, seventeen years ago, or eighteen years now, that the Lord sent me out to start praying for the sick.

65-0117  A.PARADOX

Who can forget the touching story of poor Mrs. O’Hannia and her seventeen year old daughter?

Little old woman down in New Albany, had been crippled, seventeen years drawed up. I never knowed her in my life. The Holy Spirit told me where she was at. She was an Armenian. Her name is Mrs. O'Hannia, Mrs. Darrell O'Hannia. She was crippled up. And I walked in there. I seen her. She looked like a spider, drawed up in a bed.  Her young daughter, seventeen years old, Dorothy, they lived up there at 1900 Oak Street in New Albany. This has been years ago. And there I went by; I said, "Now, that's the house He showed me."

53-0614A  EARNESTLY.CONTENDING.FOR.THE.FAITH

He paused later in the sermon to remind us that this girl was in fact seventeen years – and by the way, it’s very important to us to be reminded that she wore her brother’s shoes!

Said, "Step in?" She kind of... was kind of backwards. She was a young lady about seventeen I guess. She had on her brother's shoes. She kindly stepped back to one side. And there laid this old woman. I said, "That's her. That's the one." I said, "Sister, what's that you're reading?"

She said, "It's an Armenian Bible."

53-0614A  EARNESTLY.CONTENDING.FOR.THE.FAITH

Many of you are familiar with the story of the poor girl healed of cataracts, causing her to wander the streets blinded.  Did you notice that she just happened to be seventeen years old?

And after while, I heard somebody hollering, "Daddy, daddy?" I thought, "Where's that?" And there was as many people, practically, standing in them back places there, as there is seated in here tonight, right in that parking lot, right there in the light.  And coming down through the people... Now, down in the South, they have the Jim Crow law: that is colored and white can't mix together. So here come the--a colored girl, about seventeen, eighteen years old

53-0614E  I.PERCEIVE.THAT.THOU.ART.A.PROPHET

 

Or maybe the woman that everyone saw standing after a seventeen year battle with crippled legs:

 

I had a service here, about a year or two ago in Jeffersonville, but it happened to be the woman was from up here in Kentucky somewhere. She had turned to chalk, like, from her limbs down; from her hip down to her limps, rather. And she--she hadn't walked for seventeen years. Many of you was there that night remember the case. And she got right up and walked out of the Tabernacle, normally.

54-0330  REDEMPTION.IN.COMPLETENESS.IN.JOY

Fanny Wilson, you remember, was only seventeen years old when she was dying of tuberculosis:

And if I'm not mistaken, am I not looking at Fannie Wilson standing back there? I remember taking that woman about seventeen... Oh, more than that, about twenty... 1932, dying with TB, and the doctor of this city had give her up, and she'd hemorrhaged till the blankets and everything was laying wet with blood.

58-1005E  GOD.CALLED.MAN

So was the deacon’s daughter in the Milltown Baptist Church:

And at that time, I'd just taken over on my circuit, the Milltown Baptist Church. Being a Baptist minister, well, I was a preaching the circuit, and I'd taken this church in. And the Lord had been doing some great things.

And they sent for me to come pray for this little girl, about seventeen years old.

60-0328  IS.THERE.ANYTHING.TOO.HARD.FOR.THE.LORD

 

And the blind boy, who Branham claimed to have given back his sight:

 

Look, the other night, coming by, I laid hands on a little boy, blind. Walked right up there, and started down the steps, and received his sight. How many was here when that happened? Sure. Little boy, born blind, about sixteen, seventeen years old. Begin to scream back, "Oh, Brother Branham, I can see."

60-0401E  THE.QUEEN.OF.SHEBA

And the woman from Germany, who walked out of a wheelchair at the ripe age of seventeen years old:

60-0713  BLIND.BARTIMAEUS_  KLAMATH.FALLS.OR  WEDNESDAY_

  E-3     And just a little instance of it, 'cause we want to... Tonight is... are... We have given the service mainly tonight for prayer for the sick. There was a... Sometime ago, I was reading one of the testimonies that returned back. A lady in Germany, she'd been crippled for some seventeen years, setting in a wheelchair.

Maybe you remember the woman with the seventeen inch tumor:

"About five years after that, I took a tumor, and the tumor growed to such an excess, until it become, I believe she said, either seventeen or twenty-seven inches across it."

60-1218  THE.UNCERTAIN.SOUND

Or poor sister Margie who has been dead for seventeen years according to the hospital records, but has been alive for seventeen years according to her showing up in the pews every Sunday:

One of the great cancer cases where yonder in the Baptist Hospital she has been dead for seventeen years, on the Medical Clinic over there on the records, of "dying with a cancer," seventeen years ago. She lives at 412 Knobloch Avenue, nursing in the hospital out here. Oh, amazing grace, how sweet the sound!

61-0108  REVELATION.CHAPTER.FOUR.3

Or the poor seventeen-year-old girl in the stretcher that was healed just last week:

Here a few days ago in our church, I'd give out I was going to preach there on a Sunday (last Sunday, a week it is now, a week from last Sunday). They brought a little girl in there on a stretcher. And they'd called me in the nighttime on the road and said, "The girl cannot live," the cancer was so bad. About seventeen years old... "She can't even get there. She's going to die before she gets there." It was a pitiful case, a lovely little child of seventeen years old.

62-0319  THE.END.TIME.SIGN.SEED

Or maybe you remember the lady in the prayer line, suffering from being the victim of a doctor who liked setting bottles of her blood on a shelf.

 

I see something setting in a bottle. It's blood. There's one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen bottles of blood. You've had seventeen blood transfusions.

53-1106  DO.YOU.NOW.BELIEVE

It is possible to have multiple transfusions, but this many is very dangerous.  Rather than kill the patient, doctors usually wait a couple of weeks before administering the next transfusion, and only those in the horror movies stack them on the shelves for the vampires that creep at night.

I guess Branham thought this must have been possible, since he also mistakenly thought that the body started producing blood cells at the ripe age of seventeen:

I said, "Then I want to ask you a question. How is it when I was sixteen years old, seventeen, on up till about twenty-five, I eat bread, meat, potatoes, so forth, like I eat now; and they turned into blood cells?"

58-0619B  YE.MUST.BE.BORN.AGAIN

None of you can forget the seventeen truckloads of stretchers during the Africa meetings:

And they had around seventeen truck loads of boards they'd used for stretchers, clubs that they'd walked on, things they'd pulled them by. There's seventeen of those bus loads just laying, piled full, with the people coming behind that was laying on them the day before, coming behind singing in their own native tongue, "All things are possible. Only believe."

62-0711  HEAR.YE.HIM

It was just seventeen years ago, in 1963, that the child was healed of epilepsy:

And he said his father was brought in the line, and told of this epilepsy, and so forth, and a prayer prayed for him. And that's been sixteen years ago, I think it is, about sixteen or seventeen years ago.

63-1229E  LOOK.AWAY.TO.JESUS

A great deal of money can be made for seventeen dollars.  No matter how poor you think you are, if you find the right person, you can trade that seventeen measly dollars for a thousand dollars a night in Kansas!

Well, we'd come back home and just start looking, and--and one of them I looked at, it was somebody way up in Kansas.  Said, "Brother Branham," said, "we will guarantee you a thousand dollars every night if you'll come, but our church alone produces eight hundred dollars every love offering." And said, "We can assure you a thousand dollars a night for as long as you want to stay here two or three weeks, if you'll come." Said, "Oh, what great faith they had and what all they could do and everything." Said, "That's just our church alone," said, "besides all the rest of the churches throughout the country here will cooperate."

 

The next letter I took a hold of was a poor old brother down here in Arkansas, at El Dorado, Arkansas. He said, "Brother Branham, I couldn't even give you a bed to lay down in. I couldn't bring you to a church." Said, "I preach under two pine trees." He said, "I--I live in three rooms. I got eleven children." He said, "And not even a church, but God has sent me here, and God knows I need your help bad."

And I said, "Looky here, wife, one to the other. It was plumb the con... Talk about contrast." I laid over to one side. I said, "Well..." Started to open up the mail. Something begin to dig down here. I said, "Where was that letter from El Dorado?" So we opened it up again. I read it again. Wired him word I was coming right down.

We went down there with... I had my first suit and seventeen dollars, mud all over my shoes.

53-1203  TESTIMONY.RAISING.DEAD.BOY

 

I guess if you pastored a church for seventeen years without a single penny, that thousand dollars a night would be enticing:

I pastored there seventeen years without one penny, not because they didn't want to pay me, because I was young, able to work, so I... I'd do it right now if I could just wait on my ministry and be with them. And I love to work.

57-0127E  BLIND.BARTIMAEUS

Maybe that is why he was so interested in South Africa.  Some of the richest deposits of precious metals lie in the mines of South Africa – and did you know that they were exactly seventeen hundred feet beneath the earth?

 

They mine them about, oh, about seventeen hundred feet under the earth. They come out, a blue stone, big blue, like this bluestone you get around here. And those natives, they put them seventeen hundred feet in the ground, to mine them, to keep the price up. You'd go on the river there, they got it guarded for hundreds of miles. Take two ten-gallon buckets, he said, and pick it up, full of--of sand, and if you could get home with it, you'd be a multimillionaire, there'd be so many diamonds in it.

57-0821  HEBREWS.CHAPTER.ONE

 

That's Christianity. Go out there, a lot of missionaries, when they bring them in, put them down in the diamond mine, seventeen hundred feet under the ground, to work their taxes out.

60-0724  THE.UNCHANGEABLE.WORD.OF.GOD

Or maybe that is why the queen travelled with seventeen trainloads everywhere that she went:

I have to go in as a hunter. I'm going up to the queen that brought seventeen trainloads down and come down to the meeting.

65-0418M  IT.IS.THE.RISING.OF.THE.SUN

But seventeen was a lot of money back then.  Seventeen dollars was enough to purchase a recliner:

And we could buy one of these chairs that you let back in the back, like a... I forget what kind of an easy-rest chair. And it cost seventeen dollars, and you could pay three dollars down and a dollar a week

59-0419A  MY.LIFE.STORY

Or for you hunters, you can get a really good rifle for seventeen dollars:

She said, "Another thing," said, "you remember that time when you was in Louisville, and you wanted to buy that little rifle to go hunting with?" I just love guns and fish and things, and I was going away, and she said, "You know that little rifle you wanted to buy, and it cost three dollars down."

And I said, "Yes." Think it cost about seventeen dollars.

51-0722A  LIFE.STORY

I don’t think he really needed it, because people were so generous with their donations.  He often received a “gift offering” of seventeen hundred dollars:

I want to thank each and every one of you for your kindness and cooperation. There was one thing they did, that I did not agree with, but that was last night taking an offering for me. And they taken up a hundred and some dollars, seventeen--hundred and seventeen dollars or something, brought it to me.

60-0110  THE.QUEEN.OF.SHEBA

I’d like to take a moment right now to pause and let you know that it is exactly seventeen after the hour:

Now, friends, when Billy come and got me tonight, he said, on the road over, he said, "Daddy," said, "you're holding the people a little too late." And I've noticed I got awful late. I'm sorry. And knowing that everything's to be the way it is, it's quarter after now, about seventeen after by the clock there.

55-0400  BLIND.BARTIMAEUS

I’d also like to pause and let you know that it is seventeen minutes until the hour:

 

Now, I'm sorry that I kept you so long, but I--I--I hope that you--you'll learn something. And taking down the notes, that when... I have some more here, about three or four more pages, but I just haven't got time to get to it, and, 'cause it's getting late, and it's about seventeen minutes now until... But we'll put it in the book, anyhow, and so we'll--we'll--we'll have it.

60-1207  THE.PERGAMEAN.CHURCH.AGE

Or to tell you that seventeen cars parked by my house for this meeting:

Many times at our home, the people pile in there and everything. It's a whole lot better to be in a meeting than it is to be at home, because there's people... I've seen as many as seventeen, eighteen carloads, when I get up at morning, setting up-and-down the--the lane where I live.

55-0610  DO.YOU.NOW.BELIEVE

Maybe you’d be interested to know that I, myself was seventeen years old when I got my first brand-new car.  (Ignore that part about me being so poor that I couldn’t scrape two pennies together)

Mama, you remember when I had that little old T-model Ford, the little old '26 model? How I'd polish that thing. I was just a kid about sixteen, seventeen years old.

56-0603  THE.LAMB'S.BOOK.OF.LIFE

Or maybe you are interested in geography.  Did you know that there are seventeen thousand acres in the hills of Boston?

South Boston," over in these knobs. There's seventeen thousand acres of them knobs in there (You see?), and this is over behind it in the hills there.

60-0930  VISIONS.OF.WILLIAM.BRANHAM

Maybe you are interested in history.  Did you know that our calendar year is exactly seventeen years off?

This is--this is '64, isn't it? And I think they claim about seventeen years is off of that, so, according to the calendar.

63-1124M  WHAT.SHALL.I.DO.WITH.JESUS.CALLED.CHRIST

That’s because the Egyptians have the only correct calendar:

Now, the Egyptian astronomy calendar says we're seventeen years out, "it's seventeen years advanced from that," that would leave nineteen years left.

63-1229M  THERE.IS.A.MAN.HERE.THAT.CAN.TURN.ON.THE.LIGHT

I’m sure the people of California were interested to know that there was seventeen inches of snow in Virginia at that very moment during the sermon:

And then we go from there down in, I believe, it's Monroe, Virginia, or somewhere down in there where there's about seventeen inches of snow tonight.

61-0211  ABRAHAM

And I’m sure that the people in Illinois were interested to know that the Mennonite people were willing to give you seventeen ounces, though we don’t know what, exactly, those ounces included:

Now, the Mennonite people are really fine people. I passed today and seen a Mennonite hospital here in the city. If I'd break my arm and have to go to the hospital, I hope they take me over to the Mennonite hospital, 'cause I--I like those people; they're really nice. And they give you always, I believe it's a... Gene, how many ounces in a pound? Sixteen, isn't it? They give you seventeen. See?

61-0415E  THE.UNCERTAIN.SOUND

 

But the Mennonites had nothing on the Mormons.  Those seventeen-year-old Mormon boys looked mighty spiritual.  (Not them “Jack Mormons” – we’re talking about the real ones, the ones that were true prophets of God according to William Branham):

Now, Mormons believe prophecy. I don't... might not be any here, but they--but they do believe in--in prophecy. But, so, maybe I'm talking out of school, but I... Yeah. Yeah. But, however, they believe.  And he say, he come back to me, said, "I understand that you are a prophet."  I said, "No, sir." I said, "I... The Lord has showed me a few things to happen."  And he took off, right away, said, "Let's go in." And he got in his car, and went down to the... There was a little city from where he lived. In a few moments, he was missing. We was fixing the dogs, to take another hunt right after lunch. And when we did, why, he took off in a car. In a few moments, a fine-looking young man come back, about seventeen years old, a real saintly-looking Christian gentleman. He said, "This is my brother." Said, "He is not a Jack Mormon. He is a real Mormon."

65-0426  PROVING.HIS.WORD

The people of Georgia were so spellbound by the number seventeen that they drove seventeen hundred miles to the meetings:

'Cause the biggest part of our church, I guess, eighty percent of them are you people. That's made up from Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, and places like that, where you've come from. And you think it...

And none of the people that come are rich people. They're just common people. And I know that takes a whole lot of your--saving your pennies to do that. 'Cause I know how much gasoline it takes to come and go. And besides that, the wear and tear on a car for the trip--round trip is about, oh, I guess it's about sixteen, seventeen hundred miles for one sermon. And come that each week. Think of that. See?

61-0808  THY.HOUSE

If you are interested in science, we can pause to tell you that a Russian cosmonaut orbited the planet seventeen times:

Like that Russian fellow the other day in that orbit said he flew all around over there seventeen times around the world.

62-0607  PUTTING.ON.THE.WHOLE.ARMOR.OF.GOD

The people in Spokane were interested several months later:

62-0714  THE.UNCERTAIN.SOUND_  SPOKANE.WA  SATURDAY_

Like that Russian in the orbit the other day, he said, "I went around the earth seventeen times.

And the people of Phoenix the next year:

They say this astronaut that just went up, was up so many hours, went so many, seventeen times around the world, or whatever it was, they said it never even..

63-1214  WHY.LITTLE.BETHLEHEM

But that was nothing on John Glenn of the United States.  He travelled seventeen-hundred miles.

They say that John Glenn, the astronaut that went around, it never taken one second off of his life, even the speed that he was traveling, about seventeen hundred miles.

64-0418B  A.PARADOX

Scientists would also be interested to know that they are wrong.  While they thought we could only travel at a speed of thirty miles, we are now travelling seventeen thousand miles per hour:

When scientists, three hundred years ago, a French scientist rolled a ball at a certain speed across the earth, and proved, by scientific research, "If a man ever made the terrific speed of thirty miles an hour, gravitation would take him off the earth; according to his weight, according to the weight of the ball." Now he's going seventeen thousand miles an hour, see, still trying to climb on. He just recognized that, lately. Why? Has to be that way.

64-0726M  RECOGNIZING.YOUR.DAY.AND.ITS.MESSAGE

Surely the people of California were interested to know that he was on a seventeen-thousand-acre ranch in Florida, with pistols and sticks:

In Florida, they just... snakes just--just in rows.  And so, we had--we had pistols, and sticks, and we'd go back through these, where they'd run a dredge line through a seventeen-thousand-acre ranch, putting his Brahman cattle in there.

62-0629  BE.NOT.AFRAID.IT.IS.I

Especially since seventeen was the age when Branham decided to run away from home and play rodeo:

And I thought you all needed me out here, out in Arizona, break your horses, you know. So, about seventeen, eighteen years old, I run off, got out here around where they was having a--a rodeo.

63-0127  AN.ABSOLUTE

(Interestingly, the bull he claimed to have been thrown from, the “Kansas Outlaw” was seventeen hands high)

So, I remember, the first rider came out. He was riding what was called... I believe they call it, "The Kansas Outlaw." He's a great big horse, a big black fellow about seventeen hands high.

63-0127  AN.ABSOLUTE

The people in New York must have been interested to know that the Full Gospel Businessman’s association sold exactly seventeen-hundred tickets!

I travel quite a bit with the--these here Full Gospel Business Men. Many of them are sitting right here now. And I've got to speak at their breakfast, Saturday, Saturday morning at some... What? Statler Hotel, I believe it is. They said they already sold seventeen hundred tickets for the breakfast already.

63-1114  INFLUENCE

They must have been, because he mentioned it again to them a couple of days later:

Had a great time at the Full Gospel Business Men's breakfast this morning. The Lord did bless us. He met with us there in a great way. They had sold, I believe they said, seventeen hundred tickets

63-1116E  PERSEVERANCE

That story caught a great deal of momentum.  Better run back to Jeffersonville and tell them that exactly seventeen-hundred tickets were sold:

Then at the business man's breakfast... Usually, their chapter there, I think they said they had anywhere from fifty up to a hundred at their breakfast. And that morning they sold seventeen hundred tickets, and let the rest of the place in, to pack the place out.

63-1124M  WHAT.SHALL.I.DO.WITH.JESUS.CALLED.CHRIST

Seventeen was a very religious number.  It tied perfectly to Branham’s “year of the Jubilee” that would usher in the end of the world in 1977, although the math doesn’t quite work out.  (1954 + 17 = 1971, not 1977)

 

Now, counting the time, we find that we have exactly (Listen.) seventeen years left, and we will have the same span of time given to us as God dealing with us in the power of the Holy Spirit since A.D. 33 until 1977, the same span of time of 1954 years. God deals with us the same as He did with the Jews. See? How about that?  Now, mark down in your book a little Scripture here I want to give you. Leviticus 25, begin with the 8th verse. God calls a jubilee every forty-ninth year; the fiftieth year was the jubilee. We know that. We understand that. From the first jubilee of Leviticus 25:8, in 1977 will be the seventieth jubilee, making exactly 3,430 years. Jubilee means the going up

61-0806  THE.SEVENTIETH.WEEK.OF.DANIEL

Seventeen is very powerful during baptism.  It was just seventeen years ago, from 1962, that the “Great Baptismal” happened, and God proclaimed his only prophet, William Branham, just like he did Jesus Christ in the days of old:

If you'll pardon a personal testimony. I remember about fifteen, seventeen years ago now, about, when the Lord said to me down there on the river, when He came down in that Pillar of Fire Whose picture you see, and He spoke to me and He said, "You're to take this Message around the world."

62-1007  THE.KEY.TO.THE.DOOR

 

It just happened to be that seventeenth person.  Not the sixteenth.  Not the eighteenth:

When I was baptizing hundreds down at the Ohio River at the foot of Spring Street in Jeffersonville, where thousands were blacked on the bank... At right at two o'clock in the afternoon, I was baptizing the seventeenth person. I started to pray, and thousands standing there looking. And down from the heavens came that green, whirling down like a big star in the distance. When It got close, It was that Light, a Pillar of Fire.

50-0820E  BELIEVE.YE.THAT.I.AM.ABLE.TO.DO.THIS

 

If not for the newspapers, we might even be misled by this story.  But thankfully, the newspapers do not see the number seventeen as “spiritual” – they record a baptism of only fourteen people.

 

The very same thing almost happened in Finland:

While I was talking to that bunch a little Finnish people, seventeen received the baptism of the Holy Spirit just a few moments afterwards.

59-0415A  GOD'S.PROVIDED.WAY

These statements may seem incredibly funny, and we may take them light-hearted with a good sense of humor.  But in the eyes of God, this usage of numbers is nothing short of sorcery, which was a sin punishable by death under the Mosaic Law.  And adding details to the scriptures that followers to this day hold in their hearts as Biblical fact is nothing short of blasphemy. 

While we have been lulled to sleep with these stories, and have been trained not to judge other people – even for their sorcery – the Bible gives much different instructions.  These people that lead unsuspecting people away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ are vicious wolves, and the Apostles did not hold back as they insulted, condemned, and cursed the evil ones.  They were part of the antichrist, and Peter dedicated many words towards cursing their evil.

We need to band together, as Christians, and denounce evil.  But not with our words; we need to use the Bible as our absolute.

2 Peter 2:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.  And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

 

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

 

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord.  But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

 

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.  For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error.  They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.  For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.  For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.  What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”


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