The Armour Bride – An Inspirational Story

Reminds me of a little story. Once I… You–all of you know, I used to herd a few cattle. And I thought I was a genuine cowboy. And so, I remember at a ranch that we was working on, there was a… The Armour Company owned it, really, and the cattle out there they was branded, and we grazed them. And so they was… The story goes… Was before I come on the place.  But they had a bunch of young girls, the rancher did. And they were all these little flippy type girls in them days. I think we called them “flappers.” And now days they’re called “chorus girls,” or something. But however, they was a… Flapper mothers is what brought forth chorus girls. Now, what’s the chorus girl going to bring forth, what I wonder? I’ll preach one of these nights on sowing to the wind and weeping–reaping the whirlwind. That’s what we’ve done.

Now, notice this. Then before that the… they… The ranch got all fixed up nice and everything, because the Armour’s boy was coming out to visit the ranch out in the west. And they were going to have a big time. Of course, all these girls were going to vamp the boss’s, the head boss’s boy. You know, they’d marry him. Well then, they understood he was looking for a sweetheart. So they were all fixed up that night, and they was going to really give him an old Western reception. And the shooting their guns and having a big time. And they happened to have a–a girl there, which was a cousin. Her mama was dead, and her daddy was dead. And she had nowhere to go, so she came to live with her uncle. And of all that had to do the work, was her. The other girls just stayed all prettied up all the time, and she had to do all the work.

You, many of you maybe have had that expan–experience, an orphan. It reminds me of the Church of the living God (That’s right.): laughed at, made fun of all the time. So she had no clothes seemingly to clean up in when the rancher’s son come, the owner’s son came. So that night, they had a great big blow-out. And–and she had to stay back in back of the–the bunk house. And so, when they all got out of the dining room from eating, why, she went in and got all of the dishes and washed them. So it happened to be the–the owner, Mr. Armour’s boy, walked out at the back and was looking. And it was true, he was looking for a sweetheart. He noticed that little girl, standing in there washing the dishes. There was something about her that seemed real to him.

 After a few days’ visit, one night she was pouring out the dish water at the back of the place, after a hard day’s work, and she heard somebody say, “Good evening.” And she looked, and it was young Mr. Armour just standing there. And she pulled the straw over her feet; she was bare-footed. And she bowed her head; she felt ashamed. He said, “I’ve been watching you. And I have found, to what I believe, that you are a virtuous young woman.” Said, “I’m out here,” said, “I’m so sick and tired of that fancy going-on of the city in Chicago and so forth.” Said, “I–I come out here to hunt me a wife.” And said, “You just meet that specification.” Oh, her heart like to of went… A man of that caliber? ask her, a poor little orphan to marry him? That’s about the way I felt one night when I got a invitation to come to the wedding supper. “Want me? a man like me would–would have an invitation to come to the Lord Jesus?” But He asked me. I–I was… I imagine just about as–felt about like she did. “Who am I?” But He told me to come, and I come.

Then he said to her; he said, “Now, you make yourself ready. One year from this night, I’ll be back to get you.” Said, “Will you marry me?” She said, “Well, it… Of course I would. But” she said, “I’m not worthy.” Isn’t that about the way you felt? “I’m not worthy, Lord.” He said, “Don’t think of that. I’m not looking for clothes and things; I’m looking for virtue. And I–I–I want you for my wife. Will you be?” And he kissed her. And you remember when the Lord put that kiss on your heart, how you felt? Oh, my. Oh, kissed away all my sins, and all my sorrows, and… He–He just made something different. He–He–He said I could… I–I… He’s going to bring me to the wedding supper one night.

 So he said, “Make yourself ready.” You remember, the Bible said, “And the Bride has made herself ready,” in the robes of the righteousness of the saints. You see? So that little girl only got seventy five cents a week. But, oh, how happy she was that year. Just washing and singing, saving every penny she could. Rest of them went to town and bought new packs of cigarettes, and what more, you know, and their whiskey, and carrying on new decks of cards, and had their big time. But she’s just labored away. Why? She was getting ready, making herself ready. And then finally, first thing you know, she got to town, and she got the wedding garment, and got the money that he sent her, and got the wedding garment, and come back. And did them little cousins make fun of her. Ummmm. That’s just about the way some of these cousin denominational religion, social gospel, said, “You bunch of little holy-rollers.”

 I talked to a girl here not long ago in Oregon. She said… She’s belonged to another denomination. And she said, “Well, what’s ‘tending your party? If they ever… If they’d be the ones that would be in heaven, I wouldn’t want to be there.” I said, “You won’t have to worry very much unless you change your attitude.” See? I said, “You won’t have to worry very much.” She said, “All that there screaming and carrying on.” I said, “Now, wait. You worship Mary. And the Virgin Mary, before God would ever put the wedding garment on her, she had to go up the day of Pentecost and get so full of the Spirit, till she staggered like she was drunk. You ain’t coming in anything less.” Just remember that. Yes, sir. “And that was, as you call, the mother of God.” See? I said, “If Virgin Mary had to go to Pentecost and get the Holy Ghost before she could ever go to heaven, you’ll never get in; anything less. Just remember that. That was the Virgin Mary.” “Oh, that isn’t so.” I said, “Do you believe the Bible? Here it is. And Mary was right with them in the upper room. And she got so full of the Spirit until she danced under the Spirit, acting like somebody drunk. And you think you’ll get to heaven anything less than that? You’ll never do it. Yes, sir. Virgin Mary and all the rest of them had to come the way of the Lord’s despised few.” So… Yes, sir.

 The people make fun, and they call them a bunch of idiots. Paul said, “In the way that’s called heresy…” That’s crazy. See, “heresy” is some “heresy, crazy, idiotic.” Well, we are called that, because the supernatural is so much different from the carnal things of this world, till it makes people think they’re crazy. They said… Why, Paul said to Agrippa, said, “I’m not mad. It’s…” “Mad” means “crazy.” “I’m not crazy, you think I am. But in the way that’s called heresy, I worship the God of our fathers.” That’s the way I do too. I like that. “In the way…” I’d like to join hands with Paul. I’d like to be there that day when I see him robed in the righteousness of Christ, when I see him crowned. Hallelujah. I want to have the same kind of robe on he had. That’s the same kind my Lord wore. That’s the reason I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it’s the power of God unto salvation. And tho–Gospel came not in Word only, but through power and demonstrations of the Holy Ghost. That’s the way the Gospel is. It’s the Word made manifest in our hearts.

Now, this little girl, she got ready. She didn’t care what… They laughed. Let them laugh if they want to. But she knowed that that kiss that night meant a seal. And so did I, so do you, and every one that had that kiss of the Lord Jesus, that give you the promise, you know what it means. You don’t care what the world says. If your cousins wants to make fun of you and say, “You’ve lost your mind, and you’re old fashioned,” just go ahead; that’s all right. Make her no different, she just kept getting ready. So then, finally come the hour, the sun was going down. So she robed her little self, you know, and got all prettied up. Oh, my. That’s the hour the Church ought to be in right now: all robed in His righteousness, filled with His Spirit, powered with His Being, walking in the Light, waiting for the coming of the Lord.

There she was, got herself all ready, all cleaned and washed, and the wedding garment on. And you know what? As it got closer, the more critical got her little cousins. They said, “You poor little simple-minded thing, do you mean to tell you that if–if the Armour’s son would marry somebody, he would marry somebody like us, somebody who would fit in his society, someone who had education, who had some glamour about them.” See, that’s what the Church thinks today. But how far off they are. That’s right. Way off they are. They…

And so, then after while, she… they… She thought he’d delayed. It got later, later. And finally, they said, “Oh, where’s he at?” That’s what they’re saying today. “Where is that One. I heard that stuff forty years ago, He was coming. Where’s it at?” Didn’t the Bible say they’d say, “Where is that coming of the Lord. All things are just like it was from the beginning?” We’re living in that day, friends. Let’s take courage now while we’re together this afternoon. Go out with a new courage. Go out to win souls. Get ready. The coming’s at hand. And the first thing you know, they all got around her, begin to dance, little songs around her, said, “Oh, we’ll make fun of her,” you know. And made the bride like they was pretending, a bride. That didn’t bother her. She watched the little old clock tick around. First thing you know, it was just about one minute. Somebody said, “You… I thought he was going to be here at such-and-such a time.” “Don’t worry, he will be here,” she says. That’s all I want to know. He promised He’d be here. That’s all I want to know. He’s coming; that’s all. When, I don’t know. But He will be here.

Right while they were making the most fun, and saying the–all these different things about her, and–and teasing her, and making fun of her and everything, they heard the wheels a coming, horses hooves a beating, the old grinding of the sand under the buckboard. My, my, she broke through those lines. Out into the yard she went. Who was it? There he was, dressed. The carriage was ready. She run through the little trellis at the end of the yard like that. He jumped out of the carriage and grabbed her into his arms, and he said, “Sweetheart, all year long I’ve had people watching you.” Oh, I’m so glad. The Holy Ghost: The eyes is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. “All year long, I’ve been watching you. I seen your virtues. I seen the flirts of other men. I seen all of this, but I seen you were true. Oh, it swelled my heart to know that the woman I was going to marry was true.” God, let that be our testimony, let that be our desire today. Live true to Christ. Be true to the calling. Be true to the Spirit.

And he grabbed her in his arms, set her up in the buckboard, and turned the carriage away, and on to Chicago. Said, “You’ve worked and you’ve toiled, and your little blistered hands will never be blistered again. The things that you’ve done without, you’ll never have to do without again. For one of the swellest homes that can be bought on–on Lakeside Drive in Chicago is waiting for you. We’re going to get married now and go live there in peace for the rest of your days.” I’m so glad that we might work and toil, and have the spit of the outside, and the frowns, and the scorns, and everything, but someday He will come. Oh, we’ll be taken up with Him to meet Him in the air. And those little old cousins just stood there and looked. Oh, some of these days, we’ll be caught away. God will catch away His Bride, them who are wearing the wedding garment. Let us bow our heads.”

William Marrion Branham
God’s Provided Way 59-0415