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William Marrion Branham: Antichrist?

John Collins02/08/2013In 1965, William Branham claimed that the "Elijah" of this day was the "Lord Jesus Christ."  When combined with the other statements Branham made about the "Elijah" for this day, William Branham was clearly saying that he himself was the Lord Jesus Christ.  

This is a statement that we must be very careful with.  If a person rises into power calling himself the Christ, and he is NOT the Christ, then he is an antichrist.  Not to be mistaken with THE antichrist, anyone who proclaims himself to be Christ and detracts from Christ the Son of God is an antichrist.

William Branham told his followers in 1951 that he was leaving the field of ministry, and when he returned, he would return as Elijah.  Though many followers have mistakenly claimed that Branham would rise from the grave in the "return ministry," this was not the case.  William Branham proclaimed that his "return ministry" would come after leaving the field in 1951.  He says that during this return ministry, the "day of the Lord" would come.


Now, I'm leaving the fields right away. I have one more--two more American meetings. And God only knows when I will ever have another one. I'm returning back, as Elijah, to Mount Carmel. I believe God is fixing to do something else for the Church, and I must wait on the Lord, and find out what He says do, and then there'll be a great move for the Lord. I believe we're near the coming of the Lord, when these... He said, "I will show signs in the earth below, and in the heavens above before this... the day of the Lord shall come."
Branham, 51-0718

As early as 1956, Branham started making statements that slipped past the ears of the people.  In sermons describing his theology regarding Malachi 4, Branham would describe his own version of the End of Days.  Branham would take the scroll of Malachi, which Malachi said was "To Israel," and apply it to himself.  Then, in those same sermons, Branham would call himself "Jesus Christ."

Standing before an audience in April of 1956, Branham told the people that Jesus Christ was "standing here with these prophetic gift and all kinds of gifts operating in the church," and that they "ought to believe Him [Branham/Christ]."

We take Moses, he was borned a prophet. Elijah, John the Baptist went right into the wilderness. See? A prophet... There's...?... Zechariah. God told Zechariah, said, "Before you was even formed in your mother's womb, I knew you, and sanctified you, and ordained you a prophet to the nation. Is that right? All the way up they had, THUS SAITH THE LORD, not... No judges standing before them. They had the Word of God. That's right. God in sundry times and divers manners spoke to the Fathers through the prophets. But to this last day through His Son, Jesus Christ, the resurrected One. Now, if He's standing here with these prophetic gift and all kinds of gifts operating in the church, you ought to believe Him. Will you do it?
Branham, 56-0429 

Taking scriptures out of context, Branham waffled back and forth for the rest of his days on earth.  Sometimes he claimed that this "Malachi 4 Elijah" would be Jesus Christ, other times he would claim that "Elijah" would be mistaken for the Christ.  Much of this can be attributed to the audience he was speaking to and Branham's fear to call himself God in front of good, Bible-believing, Christian people, but it almost seems as though Branham was battling a demon in his own mind.

Finally, only days before God put an end to the false prophet, Branham decided to go full force with his "I am God" ministry.  In late November of 1965, Branham told his followers that he was, in fact, Jesus Christ.  He called himself 'God' in front of the people of Shreveport, LA.

Now, He promised that, so that sets the Bible just exactly to this day, and the Sodom and Gomorrah. And Elijah was not... That wasn't Elijah; That was the Spirit of God on Elijah; Elijah was just a man. Now, we've had Elijahs, and Elijahs' coats, and Elijahs' mantles, and Elijahs' everything. But the Elijah of this day is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to come according to Matthew the seventeen-... Luke 17:30, says the Son of man is to reveal Himself among His people. Not a man, God!
Branham, 65-1127B

The Bible warns us of THE antichrist, which is satan.  It also warns us that there will be many antichrists, all empowered by THE antichrist.  Typically, in these statements of the Bible, they are associated to someone claiming to be a prophet.

"For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible." - Luke 24:24

In this statement by Jesus, Matthew 24:24, Jesus condemns William Branham on both accounts.  False Christs, as well as false prophets.  The real Christ warned us that Branham would deceive the very elect if it were possible -- but thanks be to God that it is not possible.  As history reveals itself and Branham's prophecies prove to have failed, we quickly learn that Branham was NOT the Christ.

The Book of Revelation mentions "three unclean spirits."  One of these spirits came from the mouth of the "false prophet."

"And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs."  - Revelation 16:13

John the Revelator described these spirits to be "like frogs," which seems to mean that they were sitting for a while, leaping, and then sitting for a while.  We find exactly this phenomenon in the cult of William Branham.  The entire movement is seemingly dead, and then a new "revelation" of what the false prophet said is regurgitated, and the movement "leaps."  For a period of time, the movement is very excited and looking for one of the failed visions to happen, but then settles down to lie dormant.  Each time an earthquake happens in California, everyone is stirred.  Each time a woman gets close to the White House, great excitement fills the people.  But later, when the "event" never happens, everyone settles down to wait for the next leap.

The other strange coincidence comes from the testimony of those who are able to escape.  There is a strange "programming" that must be removed from their minds.  One magazine published the story of the escape of a girl from the cult, and she was whisked away to another country to be "de-programmed" for a period of time.  Others, who do not deprogram, struggle with the effects of their programming for years to come.  Scriptures taken out of context are resurrected when they hear them, taking different meaning than what is written in the Bible.  It is almost as though they are "marked," something in their minds that must be removed.

Revelation 20 describes exactly this:  "Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years." - Revelation 20

It is interesting that John the Revelator also describes "their hands."  William Branham and Oral Roberts both had the "gift" of detecting "sickness" by vibration of their hands.  Other false religions have the same "spiritual gift," which does not come from Christ.  Wiccan healers do the same, and claim that this "gift" comes from the "angel Raphael."  Is Raphael one of the three evil spirits that John the Revelator describes?  What was Branham's "angel" named?

The Apostle Paul warns us of worshipping these angels instead of worshipping Christ.  But he does not warn us of the angel himself, Paul warns us of those who use the angels in their ministry:

"Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind -- Colossians 2:18

Many of the people who knew William Branham will tell you that he had a "sensuous mind."  Branham, they claim, tended to over exaggerate events.  Alfred H. Pohl claimed that the entire Canada healing campaign was over exaggerated, and not a single person healed could be found from the hundreds of thousands Branham claimed to have healed.  

In a 2006 interview with Ern Baxter, Baxter claimed the same and more. Branham's teachings were "seriously wrong," filled with "exaggeration, false reports, misrepresentation," and this was the reason Baxter resigned. (http://ern-baxter.blogspot.com/2006/12/happy-christmas-to-one-and-all-i-do.html)

As Christians, we should ask ourselves: How were we tricked into worshipping an antichrist? Were our eyes blinded, or did we willfully follow a false prophet? Once his visions failed and he was proven to be false, why did we continue to follow him? Is this what John the Revelator warned us about?