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Transistor Radio Prayer Lines

John Collins08/21/2013

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When you mention the term “Faith Healing” to a Christian, they will quickly associate this term to the Biblical idea that faith in Jesus Christ has the power to heal your body. They will immediately think of the cross, where Jesus died, and by the stripes on his back we are given healing.

But when you mention “Faith Healing” to someone who has been influenced by the cult of William Branham, they immediately begin to associate this term with “Discernment.” And not the scriptural description of discernment, the Holy Spirit helping you to discern between good and evil – they associate “Faith Healing” with the magical power of guessing names and addresses from the back of a prayer card.

Why? Because throughout the many sermons recorded by William Branham, the cult leader, they are taught through example after example of the man on the platform guessing the diseases of the afflicted.

They mistake “clairvoyance” with “discernment.”

And not just the diseases that were written on the backs of prayer cards and placed into the hands of the campaign team. Many in the cult will tell you sincerely that William Branham was all-knowing, just like Jesus Christ. In fact, there are those who have said Branham was God among us, and entire cult sects like the “Christ Branham” movement believe that this man of flesh and bone was Christ Himself. They have made William Branham himself into a “different jesus.” They have combined both elements of the scripture from Matthew 24:24 into one single William Branham:

"For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead..." Mat 24:24

I find it odd, because when other devious men do the same tricks, those men are immediately scorned by members of this cult. John Alexander Dowie, the man Branham revered and fashioned his healing ministry after was a false prophet, and though he promoted himself as the reincarnation of Malachi 4 long before Branham, the cult members will examine the life and prophecy of Dowie, and quickly tell you that the man was a false prophet and charlatan.

Even the Reverend Jim Jones, who William Branham started on his way to imfamy, claimed to have had this gift. Jones, who killed his entire congregation in South America.

But whenever a failed prophecy given by William Branham is shown to a cult member, the excuses start rising from the depths of their mind, finding a way to convince themselves that this false prophet they serve is somehow connected to God. They try to convince themselves that this man is different from the rest – simply because he said so.

In the early days of the faith healing movement, those who pretended to have this “power to peer into the life” of those in the prayer lines all used similar tactics. You’ll find that before the sudden rise of technology, “Prayer Cards” were very necessary – even required – in the healing movement. The people were told that these cards, with sections for the patient’s name, address, sickness, and other information were required so that they could keep the line orderly and avoid confusion. On the front of these cards was a number, and that number was called to bring the patients to the front of the line, one-at-a-time.

In smaller groups of people, it was obvious that the cards were not needed. The people would simply talk to an usher, tell them their diseases, and be given a place in line. The same usher that would have access to the written card had direct access to the person and their afflictions.

The early “faith healers” that used this magicians trick did not have technology, but they did have a very powerful gift that God had given them: their memory. To advance the power of their memory, some of these “faith healers” would “fast for the Lord,” after learning the amazing effect that fasting has on memory.

Others would use similar memorization skills that we teach our kindergarteners in school. Memory through association helps the mind categorize thoughts and gives you the ability to retain much, much more. These “Faith Healers” would often be given the color of a shirt, or some other unique description of the patient by the ushers, and suddenly be given the magical power to know that the lady in the green sweater had eye trouble.

Again, it’s odd, because if these things are pointed out to a cult follower of William Branham about any other minister, they will quickly scorn and tell you that the other ministers were the “Jambres and Jambres” that withstood Branham’s “Moses.”

But Branham himself is seen using these memorization techniques all throughout his early ministry. This one is the most obvious, because Branham cannot even see the sweater from where he is standing, and asks someone closeby to confirm the color of the lady’s sweater:

Can you see that she's got a green sweater on from here? Yes, ma'am, that's fine. How many fingers would you think she has--she's holding up there? Can you count that far? It's kind of shadowy but... That's exactly right. Now, say, "Praise the Lord," everybody. You can raise your head. Now, sister, your sight has coming and you're going to be a perfect well woman again. 47-1207 EXPERIENCES

Under normal circumstances, Branham would have simply asked someone close by to ask the lady if she indeed was struggling with her sight, but the color of the sweater was very important to this part of the meeting. The lady with the green sweater had entered the prayer meeting to be healed of her sight.

If you examine the prayer lines for the first few years before these “faith healers” switched from memorization to technology, we find examples throughout the prayer lines of unusual memorization of the physical features of the patients. The colors are most obvious, because most men do not notice the way other men – or even women – are dressed. Most men look at the facial features.

Now, standing before me is a young man. He has brown hair. He has a blue coat on, a white shirt with a blue and white striped tie. I want you to turn this way, young man. How many believes that that's the truth? How do you know it's the truth? You have a sense you possess... 51-0729E THE.SECOND.MIRACLE

Stand up here a minute, brother. There stands a man before me with a brown suit on and a red tie. How many believes it? How do you know it? You got five senses the human body. "Stay there." [Brother Branham speaks to the brother--Ed.] 51-1003 BELIEVEST.THOU.THIS

We find many sermons throughout the prayer lines where William Branham reminds the audience of their senses: “see, taste, feel, smell, and hear.” While Branham tells the audience that they have a “sixth sense” (the sense of faith), he will focus on giving them an example of what they see before them. He will focus on their one sense, describing details of the patient that would not match the others.

The audience were caught unaware. This memorization technique has fooled thousands of people by devious minds since the travelling charlatans hit the Old West selling their magic elixirs.

But there was one problem: memory. Memory only lasts for so long. Memory only retains so much.

To counter the many questions of why God would only give this “gift” for a limited period of time when there were literally hundreds, sometimes thousands of people desperately seeking healing, the ministers using these devious tactics must employ a strategy that would scripturally answer the questions. They knew that there were sincere people, people who had surrendered their heart and soul to Jesus Christ. And they knew that there were too many people to memorize. So they must grow “weary from all of the supernatural power flowing through them.”

Under normal circumstances, there is little harm with telling your audience that you’ve grown tired. Every man grows tired. Every man gets weak, especially after working the crowds.

But Branham took things a step further than the rest. To make himself look better before the people, he decided to demote Jesus Christ. He would start telling his audience that Jesus Himself also grew weak from healing the sick:

The Bible said, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He was a man. When He come down off the mountain that night, hungry, and He was looking for some to eat around a fig tree. He was a man when He was hungry. But when He took five biscuits and fed five thousand, He was God. Hallelujah. That's right. He was a man when He was laying there on the back of that boat that night, so tired from healing the sick and the virtue going out of Him, till He was so sleepy till the waves didn't wake Him up. 51-0506A BELIEVEST.THOU.THIS

Branham would give this example many times, pointing to the King James Version of the book of Mark, describing Jesus as the woman touched His garment. The King James Version says that “virtue had gone out from him.”

This phrase was confusing to the people. Many knew what the word “virtue” meant, and “virtue” is something that you retain – not something that leaves you. So Branham was successfully able to convince the people that this phrase in their Bibles meant that Jesus grew weak from His “gift of discernment.” (Again, demoting Christ from being God, to just being another charlatan who was given a gift that made Him tired.)

The newer translations use the word “power” for this passage. Correctly translated, it is a supernatural power – not something that gives God a weakness. This is the same word used in other passages you are familiar with, even in the King James Version:

“ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)

“Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. (1 Cor 15:24)

But in the early 50’s, things changed. In 1954, Texas Instruments began demonstrating the technology of the future: transistor radios.

These small, lightweight radios were both portable and powerful to men who wanted quick access to over-the-air communications. Instead of the much larger vacuum tubes, these devices contained a small electronic component, a transistor, that made the much larger devices now fit into the hands of the listener. By late 1954, they became available to the general public.

But these radios were only single part of the equation, and the speakers were not as portable as the device itself. For this electronic device to be on the platform, the “divine healer” would also need an amplifier, speakers, and a transmitting device to send the signal.

1955 brought the answer. In February, 1955, a company called Raytheon produced the second transistor radio, the Raytheon 8-TP-1. It was more expensive than the Texas Instruments version, but included a built-in four-inch speaker. Immediately afterward, several other companies, such as Zenith, RCA, DeWald, and Crosley, started producing their own versions of this device.

The timing is uncanny. Only a few months after these devices hit the market, William Branham had a “vision.”

Suddenly, in February of 1956, Branham had a vision of being able to perform his miracles for much longer periods of time!

Many in the cult have long forgot about this vision, save those in the “Return Ministry” splinter group that stems from Jeffersonville, Indiana. Branham’s vision is describing the large tent that he saw in this vision, and the ministers of the cult know that this vision was not fulfilled until Branham died in 1965.

But this tent had two major points, the first one largely overlooked:

The first point given by William Branham was that there was a change in the ministry. No longer would this “discernment” (mind reading) be limited to small periods of time. The prayer lines could go for hours at a time.

And He said, "You remember that name that you were hunting that time that you dreamed about?" And I said, "Yes."

He said, "I'll meet you in there and this time it won't be a public show." And the vision left me. Now, we got the tent in making. And then in there I'll be able to carry a prayer line right on through. Now, you remember, I speak this before it comes to pass. The exceedingly abundantly is fixing to take place. I can't wait till I get into that place. I just... My heart's a yearning and burning. And these things here that you see now will be amateur to what our Lord is fixing to do. You just remember that with all your heart. And live for Him now and be reverent. And just be yourself. Just--just be Mrs. Doe or Mr. Doe and--and love the Lord and just move on with a true heart before Him, and love Him. He will take care of the rest of it. You see? But then it'll be no end to the prayer line for it'll go hours after hours. 56-0219 BEING.LED.OF.THE.HOLY.SPIRIT

Both this technology and this “vision” has been largely overlooked. And the technology in the Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana has been largely overlooked.

There is radio broadcasting equipment built into the Branham Tabernacle. The recorded sermons of William Branham are played inside the building, but they are also broadcast to the parking lot using this equipment. The group known as the “lazy bunch,” those who show up late to sit in their cars and listen to the sermon on their radios, use this broadcasting equipment to avoid sitting in the hard, uncomfortable pews of the cult church.

But there is a reason this equipment is there. There is a reason the movement is so filled with technology, expensive technology, when there are poor people sending in money without even shoes on their feet.

I would ask you what God needs with this technology, when simply passing out paper Bibles would spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I would ask why the Tabernacle has radio broadcasting equipment, when the people SHOULD be going into the church for worship instead of sleeping in their cars.

But in your hearts, you already know the answer to those questions. You know this does not make sense, and you know that the rest of this “tent vision” has already failed when an automobile accident claimed the life of the false prophet.

So instead, I will leave you with this question: Why were you so easily convinced that Jesus Christ could possibly grow weak from healing the sick? Why were you so easily convinced that Jesus, God’s only Son, would need to see a vision from the Father before healing anyone? Why were you so easily convinced that this “virtue”, the same word used as “power” meant that Jesus had lost His strength?

Listen again to the description given by John the Revelator. Remember John Alexander Dowie, the one who died, and rose again in power through the Divine Healing movement. Think about the loud, resounding voice of the Charismatic-style preaching William Branham had as Dowie’s ministry was given power long after he died. Think of the image, hanging in the houses of almost every single member of this cult. Think of these things, and read this scripture from the Book of Revelation:

Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. Rev 13:11-15

This was not a person crying out to you to examine your religion as these cult pastors falsely claim. None of the apologetics are showing you great signs and wonders. They are just men and women, having no power to harm you. They point you back to your bibles. But that same chapter says that this one was given power: He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. (Rev 13:7)

Do you really believe the Jesus of the Bible, or have you so easily accepted William Branham’s “jesus?”

Is there hope of you accepting the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is in the Bible, or have you already been conquered?