Video available here: http://youtu.be/SgsBnvzQ6s0
When asked the question: "What was William Branham's 'message' to the people", it is surprising how many different answers you will receive. Each sect within the religious following interpret the recorded sermons to support their particular platform, and those platforms do not fully align in all cases. But the most common answer, one that William Branham himself seemed to support, is that he came to prepare the way for the second coming of Christ.
The prophecy of Malachi describes the return of Elijah. Before the Messiah came to earth, God promised to send a messenger to prepare the hearts to receive the Son of God. Most Christians and followers of William Branham agree that John the Baptist was the fulfillment of that prophecy from chapters one through three of Malachi. And if Branham's 'message' fully aligned with scripture, it might even seem that Branham was bringing to fullness that which was done in the shadow of the Old Testament. But if we examine the two "messengers," Branham and John, do we find both men handing the reins of control over to Christ to fulfill the scriptures?
As John was baptizing near Salim, John's disciples noticed that Christ was also baptizing His followers. They raised an objection, because the people were starting to leave John and follow Christ.
"And they came to John and said to him, 'Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.' John answered, 'A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.' The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.'" - John 3:26-30
There were several following John, believing that he was the fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy. But though scriptures announced his coming, it was only a faint glimmer that paled in comparison to the Light that had entered the world. John made sure that his following knew that they were not to become his followers. John told them that they were to follow Christ. They were to become Christians, not "John-ites."
He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. - John 3:31-36
While the account given of John the Baptist describes a complete fulfillment of scripture -- John the Baptist shining a light towards the One that had entered the world, Branham's light seems to have come and fizzled out before the return of Christ. From 1965 until today, we have a world of people that have long forgotten Branham's light -- many of them true hearts in Christian faith that have never heard of a messenger that prepared the way. And what remains of that 'message' has gradually become distorted into several opposing viewpoints.
There is one sect within Branham's following calling themselves the "Third Testament" that teaches that the world has missed the "Rapture," and that we are now living in the New Millennium.
Sadly, and though misguided, it would seem that this group aligns with scriptures more than the rest of the following. The "messenger" did come. His announcement of the "Second Coming." went out to the nations. But then every single passage of scripture associated with Christ's return was left unfulfilled. There was no "handing over of the reins." The only way to reconcile this error is to convince followers to believe that Scriptures describing the Return of Christ are given in symbolism.
What do you believe? Do you believe that Christ came to earth in the form of William Branham? Was Branham correct when he said "The 'Elijah' of this day is the Lord Jesus Christ?" Or are you looking towards a full and complete fulfillment of scripture?