Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, killing an estimated 8.2 million people in the year 2012 alone. An estimated 39.6% of people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. There is not a nationality, socioeconomic group, or race exempt from the threat of cancer.
In the 1940â€™s and 1950â€™s the medical community was still working hard to prevent cancer and treat it effectively, but they were unfortunately working with many of the pieces missing. DNA was not clearly understood at the time, modern techniques for cancer screening had yet to be invented, and the very nature of cancer cell structure was misunderstood.
Even though tests on laboratory animals had proved the theory wrong in the 1920â€™s, many people still believed that injury was the primary cause of cancer. Some believed that cancer was a virus and that cancer was something foreign in the body. It was a fearful timeâ€”a diagnosis of cancer meant death within five years in approximately 50% of cases. Surgery would often leave cancer survivors marred, and before the advent of chemotherapy and radiation, inoperable cancers meant almost certain death.
It was into this world that William Branham and the other healing evangelists entered the field. When the medical community had little in the way of answers, these traveling preachers promised resultsâ€”if only you can believe God for your healing.
The problem, of course, is that William Branham and the rest of the healing revivalists from this era made grandiose claims of incredible healings that cannot to this day be substantiated. Statistically, about 50% of the people seeking healing in William Branhamâ€™s meetings would have lived for five years after their diagnosis regardless of whether they had a preacher pray for them or not. For those that didnâ€™t survive, there was ALWAYS an excuse.
William Branham taught that in order to be healed the person seeking healing had to maintain unwavering faith, even if they got sicker, they could not lose faith or they would lose their healing. When a person DID succumb to their disease, the travelling preacher could always blame the failure on the sick personâ€™s lack of faith.
It was a genius scheme, and many desperate souls came searching for their miracle.
But in order to get the people in the door, there had to be a carrotâ€”something that would draw the people not just to faith for their healing, but to the supernatural manifestations of the special man of Godâ€”to â€œthe prophetâ€. William Branham made some incredible claims about all kinds of different healings, but some of his most fantastic involved the total and instant healing of cancers or tumors falling off right in front of the audience:
Two weeks ago, before I went to New York, there was a lady come in with a cancer in the throat. The Holy Spirit spoke to her, in the meeting. Here she was there, Sunday, with a cancer in a piece of a rag, she had coughed it out. The doctors looked at it, and said, "The life went out of the cancer, and it's come loose." And she coughed it out. 219 Another one had a cancer in the female glands. And she had it right there, with an enlarged picture, with the doctor's statement with it. She had passed it, two days later.
63-1127 - The World Is Again Falling Apart
Now, Iâ€”I can tell you this. God, Who is my Judge, Who I stand before, Iâ€¦ By newspaper clippings, front page headlines carrying this, it could be showed here at the platform. I seen the time when people come to the platform with hanging cancers, hanging on their bodies; and while prayer was being made, their cancer turning white, dropping off, and rolling down across the floor while I was praying for them. God, Who is in heaven, that looks down, knows that's true. When newspaper reporter standing there and shoot the picture of it, and declared in the newspapers on the front page.
50-0816 - Looking To The Unseen
Here not long ago, way down there in Kentucky, Brother Sullivan, an old patched blue shirt, steel gray eyes, looked at me in the eye and said, "Preacher, I believe that." Oh, brother, that was one hundred percent plus. He did. And a cancer, hanging on the side of his face dropped off on the floor. He believed it. So many's got hope instead of faith. Now, the newspapers packed the article of it: a reporter standing there and the cancer rolled off over his feet. He couldn't keep from writing about it. Picked it up himself. Say, "Why don'tâ€¦ I didn't see it nowhere."
61-0318 - Abraham's Covenant Confirmed
The issue of course is that we have absolutely no evidence that ANY of these incredible healing claims were legitimateâ€”there are no records or testimonies from any first-hand witnesses healed in such a dramatic fashion, no newspaper articles, and no doctorâ€™s statements.
More troubling, though is this account of another of the healing revival preacherâ€™s fake healings involving cancers falling from bodies:
â€œDid he have the power to heal? There are a number of problems with assertions that he could â€“ many healings were known to be faked, many of the cancers coughed up were bloody chicken parts, many of the â€œinfirmedâ€ were perfectly healthy (church) members in disguise, many were used as crowd-pleasers or as a way to bring people inâ€¦â€
This testimony is from a former follower of the infamous Jim Jones of the Peopleâ€™s Temple, and the fake healings were seen as a means to an endâ€”building up the faith of the people so that they could receive the teachings. This testimony is even more troubling when you consider the fact that William Branham preached a revival meeting hosted by Jim Jones at the Cadle Tabernacle in Indianapolis June of 1956, and again in Chicago, October of that year. The two healing revivalists then were not strangers to one another but more than likely stood on the same platform, working together in prayer lines. Both claimed supernatural healings for cancer resulting in tumors falling from the bodies of those diagnosed.
The fact that these kinds of things were being faked by other healing evangelists of the era Branham knew and (potentially) mentored should be cause enough for concern as to the truth of these stories. The lack of evidence in newspapers, doctorâ€™s notes, or first-hand testimonies should also be cause for alarmâ€”but in reality, this is only a minor issue in the scheme of Branhamâ€™s healing crusade against cancer.
In addition to the healings themselves being suspect, we must also consider William Branhamâ€™s flawed understanding of cancer and how it works.
Some may ask themselves why it is important that William Branham have a correct understanding of how cancer is contracted, what it is, and how it functions in the bodyâ€”he was just a man, living in a time of widespread uncertainty and limited medical knowledge, and as a result reflected the time in which he lived. We totally agree with that sentiment, and donâ€™t begrudge William Branham his errors concerning cancer in any way. The trouble is, though that William Branham claimed to be â€œGodâ€™s voiceâ€, â€œElijah the prophetâ€, â€œthe angel to Laodiceaâ€, and the â€œrestorer of all thingsâ€. Because of these claims, the vast majority of people following him today believe he is infallible, when that is CLEARLY not the case.
Here are just a few examples of William Branhamâ€™s confusion concerning the cause of cancer:
Cancer caused byâ€¦bruises?
For instance, we'll take theâ€¦ to speak for a few moments about cancer. It seems to be one of the major enemies today. What is a cancer? Where did it come from? Tumor, cataract, ulcer, pneumonia, tuberculosis, all of those names are medical names that medical science gave them. The Bible declares them to be devils. For instance, cancer, what is a cancer? It usually comes from a bruise.
50-0100 - Diseases And Afflictions
And a cancer, in the naturalâ€¦ In the spiritual he's a devil. He types the scavenger and a buzzard: eats dead things. The cancer comes from a bruise. For instance, my hand, itâ€”itâ€”itâ€”it hasn't got any cancer on it. And it may have sometime. Well, what causes a cancer, is aâ€¦ Some cell, germ in my body, backslides, gets bruised, or something sets in. And from that germ, or cell, it starts a multiplication of cells, multiplying, and it forms a cancer, and it starts eating into the body.
50-0100 - Diseases And Afflictions
Cancer caused byâ€¦ Tempers?
And itâ€”it's about sixty percent of the cause of all sickness is temper. Yes, sir, them tamâ€”tantrums you fly loose, remember, you just developing a cancer, ulcer, or something like, when you do it. When you get all stewed up about somebody, "I won't go back there any more. Wait till I give them a piece of my mind." All right. Remember, you're the one's going to pay for it. Just keep happy.
56-0404 - The Infallibility Of God's Spoken Word
Cancer caused byâ€¦Penicillin?
And as I was just getting ready to leaveâ€¦ Course, that spread the West Coast. And here some famous doctor had sent his grandchild way back over behind Pasadena, and put up a roadblock there to pray for that child; where he'd give it a shot of penicillin, caused a cancer to come into its side, a little bitty baby about two.
58-1221M - Where Is He, King Of The Jews?
Cancer caused byâ€¦Another Lifeform?
The strange thing it is, is many times doctors don't know. They know the growths there, but what caused it? It's got to have a reason. It's got to be there for some cause. And it's a life; it's not your life; it's another life that come in you. It's another cell, a developing of cells, multiplication of cells, that's what you are. And that's what a germ is. A cancer germ, tumor, cataract, any other germ. It's in you for one purpose; it's a death in your mortal flesh, a cancer, sucking your blood, killing you. It's a growth; it has no form. You take form after the nature of your father. Or anyâ€”anything after its kind, every seed after its kind. You're the seed of a human being; it'll produce a human being. Seed from a dog will produce a dog, from a bird will produce a bird. 13 But a cancer, tumor, cataract, any of those diseases, they don't have anyâ€¦ They're spiritual things. And they just form any kind of aâ€”a malignancy or whatever it is, and spread forth.
56-0421 - What Visions Are
And Satan's against you. Therefore, this cancer heâ€”he starts, or this tumor, whatever it is; from a germ he begins to multiply, in to, like a tumor becomes malignant, so forth. It's a body, just like you're of a body. It has a spirit just like you are spirit; only it has not a soul. But it has a life like you have a life. And therefore, then, in you, in your flesh, there is two lives. One are you and the other one is another being, multiplying cells, growing a body, just like you growed in a body. Is that right? Well then, what does that? The devil. Theâ€”the germ is a life. First, the germ is a teeny little cell with a life in it. And that life only can come from two resources: either from God or the devil. And you came from the germ of life, by God. The cancer, tumor, or so forth, come from the germ of life by the devil. And he's trying to destroy your life. He eats up your bloodstream andâ€”and in different ways he works upon you. Therefore, I know that they are devils. Jesus Christ called them devils. And what He says is the truth. They are the devil. Devil is a tormentor. He's here to tear up your body, to eat you up, to destroy you, shorten your three score and ten, if he can.
50-0100 - Diseases And Afflictions
Nowâ€¦ But now watch this cancer. Now, say it on my hand. Now, there's none there now. They could be someday. Well, and there it is then if it's a growth comes on that hand, a cancer wherever it may be, it's another life. It's developing a different cell though it is a cell, but it started from a life. Just like you started first before that little germ, that's as far as we can tear your body down to that one single cell, and the little germ is a teeny little cell, but beyond that cell is a spirit, because it's got a life. Well, that life came from God for you, but where did this life of death come in your body, which is called cancer, who brought that there? That's the devil. Now, Jesus called it a devil, and by being a minister that's the terms I take. What the Bible says is right.
53-0904 - Healing (What Cancer Is)
But remember, in dealing withâ€”like a substance, a tumor, we're not dealing with that lump or the cancer. What is a cancer? It's a life, and it's not your life; it's another life. It's a multiplication of cells. And what caused it to be there? It's another life that's coming to yours to kill you. The Bible calls it a devil. We call it cancer today, which is a medical term, which comes from the word "crab." But the Bible calls it a devil, a killer.
58-0503 - The Queen Of Sheba
Cancer caused byâ€¦babies?
Now, we know where your body come from. But in you, say, there's a cancer, or a tumor, or a cataract, or a cyst. Where did it come from? Where come that thing? See, the first thing, the devil cannot create. That's the reason the devil cannot heal. There's only one Creator; that's God. But the cell that backslides, bruisedâ€¦ Like on a woman's breast sometimes comes a rose cancer. It's because of the baby, or some bruise on her breast. And that little bruise, the cell breaks and another life gets in that house of the cell. When the cell's been bruised, the life of cancer comes into that and begins to multiply cells.
62-0726 - A Testimony Upon The Sea
We now know that cancer forms because of damage to the DNA of cells that then reproduce more damaged cells and fail to die or repair damage like normal cells do. Many things can trigger the formation of cancer cells. People can inherit a propensity to develop cancer, exposure to carcinogenic substances can damage cells and cause the development of cancerous ones, and mistakes can occur in the routine reproduction of cells in the body, resulting in cancer.
There is no way to know definitively what caused specific cancers, but we DO now know that injuries (bruises) do NOT cause cancer. We know that people with hot tempers do not have a higher risk for cancer. We know that penicillin is safe and does not cause cancer, and we know that babies do not cause breast cancer. We also know that cancer is NOT another lifeform, but a growth caused by the malformation of cells within a personâ€™s body. Therefore, cancer is genetically a part of the body, and not a foreign entity.
Letâ€™s examine additionally William Branhamâ€™s teachings regarding the spiritual significance of cancers. Because of Branhamâ€™s fundamental misunderstanding about the origin of cancer, he falsely taught that the foreign â€œgermâ€ that causes cancer is introduced into the body as a result of demons:
How many's heard me explain how diseases are germs, and germs are life. You're a germ yourself; you come from the germ of life. Is that right? Well, if you come from yourâ€”by your father and mother, a germ of lifeâ€¦ A cancer is a germ; a cataract is a germ; a tumor is a germ; tubercular is a germ. Is that right? Where did they come from? What kind of life are they? The doctors callâ€¦ That's medical names, saying, "cancer, cataract," so forth like that. Jesus called them a devil. Is that right? And that's what they are. And anyone knows "a devil" means "a tormentor." And it's something that's tormenting your body.
47-1102 - The Angel Of God
William Branham further teaches that cancer demons have specific shapes and â€˜vibrationsâ€™ that he was able to feel in his hand:
Cancer demon shaped like an â€˜octomusâ€™?
Heavenly Father, I pray for my brother now with cancer. His life is being eat up with this big demon cancer is doing it. You're the only One Who can take that "octomus" out of him, that demon, stretching forth his powers and limbs in there to eat the very life out of this man. Father, he's our brother. And we come to You as Your children.
48-0302 - Experiences
Cancer demon making a â€˜brrrrâ€™ sound when it moved to WMBâ€™s hand?
Now, take this other hand, and feel it, touch that hand here. See? See what I mean? Now, it's justâ€¦ That comes right to my heart. It kind of like a "brrrr." That's that cancer. It's alive.
51-0721 - Life Of Demons, And Visions
Cancer demon getting excited, making waves, causing WMBâ€™s hand to swell as it leaves?
Now, I feel it comingâ€¦ Here it comes again. Now, look at it. See? It's just like waves. Now, that cancer is excited. The life of the cancer, the life of that germ in there, is excited. That's a spirit, because near here, you and I, stands the thing that can make it leave there by your faith. 34 Now, I'm going to pray for you, because you know you got cancer. You've been very nervous and upset. I'm not reading your mind. But you know what I'm talking about, don't you? I don't even have to say it. But now, what I'm trying to do, is to get this to leave. Now, I'm going to pray, and I'm going to have the audience to bow their heads. I want you to watch my hand. If itâ€”if it goes away, you're healed. That'll be three witnesses. Is that right? If it stays there, you still got cancer. Now, remember, I can't make it go. Now, the reason I ask you toâ€”toâ€”to watch (See?), you're the one that's got the cancer. If it goes out, there'll be a cancer at large. See? And if this, now, if your faith is all can make it go. Now, I want you to believe while I pray. And I want you to watch my hand, see if it moves in any way at all. See? And then if that just drops down, the swelling leaves, the vibration off of there leaves, if it comes normal, just like this hand, you're healed. If it doesn't, you're not. See? I have nothing to do with it. It's your faith from here out.
51-0721 - Life Of Demons, And Visions
There is no doubt that William Branham did not understand cancer.
Despite the supposed â€˜promiseâ€™ from God that nothing would stand before his prayers, not even cancer, William Branhamâ€™s legacy is not thousands of indisputable healings. Many have testified to the failure of the campaigns to produce legitimate results as by the traveling preacher. Some of the most applauded â€œsuccessesâ€ were overstated and in some cases completely untrue.
But the question is bigger than healings. It is bigger than any one, isolated issue we here at Seek the Truth could point out. The question is and always has been about Truth.
Were all the things William Branham said about cancer true? â€“No
Were all the healings he claimed occurred factual? â€“No
Therefore, is William Branham infallible? â€“No!
Donâ€™t allow fear to control you, and donâ€™t allow yourself to remain in a prison of false pretenses. If William Branham can be wrong about cancer, what else could he be wrong about? You owe it to yourself to find out! Our God is a God of Truthâ€”find the Truth, and you will find the sanctifying, freeing joy and peace that accompanies a close walk with the Lord.
And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.