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1933 World's Fair

John Collins09/20/2013

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Given William Branham’s fascination with science and progress, I find it very ironic that his message promoted a people that are trained to believe that science is “of the devil.” 

Asked about several prophecies and spiritual events, any follower of William Branham can instantly produce memorized history of the scientific evidence that Branham claimed to have “proven” his words.  But when you start to show a massive amount of historical fact to the contrary, the quick response is that “science cannot prove these things, because it is ‘hidden from the eyes of the wise and prudent.’”

Branham promoted himself as a poor, humble man that tromped around the hills of Kentucky like Huckleberry Finn.  Any time “science” could be used to “vindicate” his ministry it seemed to be great irony, almost like the Beverly Hillbillies meets Buck Rogers.

Many have asked me why William Branham would give these fictional stories of the poor lifestyle in Kentucky when the United States Census records prove that he moved to New Albany, Indiana as early as age three.  Or why Branham pretended to be very poor, supporting fatherless siblings when his father was alive and well until early manhood.  I truly believe that the irony appealed to the listeners.

Take a man who works for the air force, in the innovation or engineering field.  If you were around such a man, and knew that he was around other men who paved the way of the future with new and exciting technology, you would not be shocked when he told you of the latest computer systems or automated guidance controls.  You would recognize the fact that this worker has access to the latest ideas, and also recognize that some of these ideas might one day be reality.

If this worker were to tell you that he had a “prophecy” that guidance controls would one day be connected to handheld devices that you can fit into your pocket, you would probably laugh at him.  You’d realize that this was no “prophecy” at all, simply a man watching the ideas of others to loosely “predict” the future.

And if that prediction was slightly off, and he changed it a bit to fit newer technology, you’d discredit him as a mental case when he gave you another “prophecy” surrounding the ideas of technology.  If you had Bible-grounded understanding of Christianity, you’d simply ask him “What does this technology have to do with the things of God,” and move on.

But people were captured by the irony in William Branham’s fictional stories.  When your mind is picturing a boy running around with a coon-skin cap shooting at opossum, a vision of future technology is a conundrum.  How can this country-bumpkin, who barely knows how to read and write, understand the future of progress?

Take that same man, the innovator-prophet.  If you were to find out that he travelled around, from conference to conference, learning about several other new ideas and technologies, and then came to you claiming “prophecy,” you would want to stay as far away from him as possible.  While he seems genuine, you’d realize that he was nothing more than a liar.

I find it very interesting that some of Branham’s prophecies deal with technology.  The “prophecy of the egg-shaped car” for instance – this is a prophecy that does nothing for us.

There is not a single soul that has been saved because Branham said there would be an egg-shaped car.  There is not a single person that has fled idolatry, found Christ, and held solid to their faith because of the shape of an automobile.  Instead, we find several people, who do know that Branham changed this vision into something entirely different, longing for the day when cars will suddenly defy aerodynamics and legroom to look like Humpty-Dumpty fell and grew wheels.

From 1933 into 1934, Chicago held the technology spectacular of the century – the World’s Fair - Century of Progress International Exposition.  Interestingly, the fair started in the same year that Branham claims to have had this prophecy – and nobody even remembers or can account for Branham actually prophesying until around 1950. 

This particular World’s Fair held exhibits for history, culture, offensive culture, and future innovation.  A ticket holder could visit the Andrews Sisters singing with Judy Garland in the “Rainbow City of the Future,” or visit the offensive racist town of African-Americans and the town of “Midget City.”  It even had incubators that held living, breathing, babies!

One exhibit of interest was the “dream cars.”  In this exhibit, tourists could see the automobiles soon to hit the market as well as concept cars that would never make factory production.  Cadillac introduced a V-16 limousine, And Packard won best-of-show with a practical model that fit the lifestyle of most people.

It was the Lincoln prototype that will raise a few eyebrows in the cult following of William Branham.

This was the year of the Zephyr.  Union Pacific Railroad exhibited its first streamlined train built for passenger speed, nicknamed the ‘Zeph.’  It was proudly displayed in the “Wings of Century” exhibit as a main attraction.  Lincoln later used this name for the prototype automobile that was on display at the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago.

This prototype, later to become named the Lincoln-Zephyr, will look familiar to many – though it would be mistaken for another.  The Lincoln-Zephyr looked surprisingly like the Volkswagen Beetle, with rounded egg-shaped fenders, an egg-shaped cab, and even a half-egg-shaped front trunk.  Like the Volkswagen, this was a  vehicle with the engine in the rear.

This was a World’s Fair that William Branham attended.

Because I was only at one World Fair in the United States, and that's when it was in Chicago, years ago


I find this statement funny, looking back through everything William Branham said about World’s Fairs.  Though he says in 1962 that the only World’s Fair that he ever attended was this Century of Progress in Chicago, the story was not the same in 1954 – and still it is the truth.  The 1954 tale was fiction, not this statement from 1962.

Here not long ago, "My Old Kentucky Home," is just across the river from me. I was over there sitting at the little bench that he was supposed, or table, it was valued at a hundred thousand dollars many years ago, when the World's Fair was held at St. Louis.


In 1953, there was to be a World’s Fair in St. Louis, the “Louisiana Purchase Edition.”  This particular fair was cancelled.  The last World’s Fair held in St. Louis was in 1904 – years before William Branham was even born.  So his statement in 1962 was truth, while his tall-tale in 1954 was fiction.  One cannot sit in a little bench that is famous before one has been born!

So if we remove William Branham from this story, and place the innovator into the picture, you begin to ask yourself:  Is this guy for real?  Does he really think that I am going to believe that he prophesied about a car that he saw in a World’s Fair?  Does he really think that I am that stupid?


You would discredit the innovator and his fictional prophecy.  But let’s continue with William Branham for a moment. 

Remember, this “prophecy” did not always remain a prophecy of an egg-shaped car in the many times Branham retold his account of God speaking through him to warn the people of the coming funny-cars.  It later became a prophecy describing a driverless car. 

Ironically, that prophecy describes a photograph in the newspapers inside an article entitled “Power Companies Build For Your New Electric Living.”  The passengers – and the driver – are ignoring the steering wheel and cars around them to play a board game – just like William Branham’s vision.

Again, back to the innovator, and assuming that you had this newspaper, imagine when he changed his prophecy from that of an egg-shaped car that he saw in the 1933 World’s Fair to that of a driverless car that he saw in a newspaper.  You’d look at him, look down at the newspaper, look back at him, in complete amazement that this guy would say something like this!  Again, you’d ask the guy, “Do you really think that I am that stupid?”

In 1962, Seattle held the World’s Fair, Century 21 Exposition.  It was a similar fair to that of the 1933 “Century of Progress,” this was a science exposition displaying the technology of the 21st century.  William Branham wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

O Father, when passing through the World's Fair a few days ago, looking at the achievement that man has done, and how he's progressed, how the people had gathered from around the world to see what the world was doing, finding their best that they have did... Germany, England, Switzerland, the world around was displaying what they had been able to improve upon.


In this World’s Fair, that car from the magazine was on display:

And now, it also said, "And it shall come to pass, that before the end time shall come, that automobiles will take on the shape of an egg, become more like an egg. And I saw an American family driving down a highway in a car that... They were setting facing one another, and had a table, and were, look like, playing checkers or cards. And they didn't have any steering wheel in the car. And it was controlled by some power without a steering wheel. How many remembers me prophesying that (See?), that's been here?

Now, at the World's Fair they've already got the car on the market.


It’s very interesting, because William Branham does not want his listeners to know just how incredible this fair was.  This was the World’s Fair that dedicated the world-famous “Space Needle,” a monument in Seattle that the entire world is now familiar with.  But according to Branham, this is nothing fancy – just about like one of the small hotels in Louisville.

But the World's Fair, I taken the family and went over. It was no more than the Louisville Fair right over here. You seen the Space Needle they talked about, it was nothing else but go over here at the Elsley Build-... or the Brown Building or somewhere, and go up about eight or ten flights on an elevator and come back down. That was it. And I think that General Electric was the one who had that there.


Also interesting is one attraction that would have reminded William Branham of his visit to Pigalle, the sex capital of the world.  Branham, you remember, wanted to visit Pigalle to see if it was “as bad as everyone claimed.”  His conclusion,” Yep!  Pretty bad!”

At the northeast corner of the fair Show Street was the "adult entertainment" section.  Adult-only ticket holders could visit Vegas-style floor shows, puppet shows, and an attraction called Les Poupées de Paris which featured the “naked Girls of the Galaxy.”  (This exhibit was only on display briefly, later shut down.)

But the adult entertainment is not the captivating part of this story – though William Branham supposedly went to the fair, went back down to Arizona to get his wife and children, and then went back to the fair.  The interest is the prophecies of technology now knowing that Branham saw these technologies beforehand in the World’s Fair.

I can imagine the situation I described earlier, where an innovator travelling to various technology conventions pretended to prophesy from God, and the look on your faces when you learned that he was prophesying from the work of other people: disgust.

The same happened in the days of old with the Children of Israel.  Prophets from God spoke the words that came directly from the mouth of God.  But sorcerers – men pretending to be prophets giving themselves visions by other means – tried to lead many astray.

These men invoked fear into the hearts of men, seemingly having great power.  Men with insight into areas of the future, having knowledge that others do not have can appear to have supernatural powers – because out of the many prophecies they give, one is bound to come to pass.  As soon as that one seems to be true, the sorcerer becomes a “prophet.”

That is why God gave the warning to test the prophecies.  Not just one – test them all.  If the word did not come from God, but the sorcerer guessed what would happen, or already knew what would happen by going to conventions with egg-shaped chariots, God’s children might be fooled.  So God instructed us to test ALL the prophecies.  If one single prophecy does not come to pass exactly as the “prophet” says, then we know that we are dealing with a man who is not telling us the truth.

There are three scriptures that I find helpful, and I think you will find that they apply not only to William Branham’s ministry, but also others just like him from days gone by.  They are God’s Word to us, giving us instruction on how to remain awake and alert.

“But the prophet who shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he shall speak in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.  And you may say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?  When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”

Deuteronomy. 18:20-22

 “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

1 Thessalonians 5:20-22 


“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.”

James 1:26 


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