William Branham's 1946 Judgment:
As William Branham proclaimed God's wrath upon various cities, nations, and even continents, he often would express his opinion concerning the "decision" each of the condemned locations had made. Like Jonah of the Bible, Branham declared judgment for wrongdoing, but unlike Biblical prophets of God, never described what the people had done to earn this tragedy -- before, during, or after the "decision."
Though no evidence exists to support Branham's many claims to have written down his prophecies in various locations prior to their usage in sermons, Branham refers to having made some of these declarations prior to 1946. In a 1958 sermon, Branham claims that God spoke through him to declare judgment on America for making her "final decision."
"And the revival is just about over. You remember as THUS SAITH THE LORD, I said, America made her final decision in 1946. Watch, since then. She's gone, and there's nothing left but judgment and chaos."
Ignoring Luke 16:16, William Branham styled himself as an Old Testament prophet. Depending upon which particular doctrine he was attempting to enforce, he went so far as to compare himself and his ministry to them. For the "signs and wonders" of his Post WWII Healing Revival, Branham compared himself to the prophet Moses. Claiming that he was given two signs "just as Moses was given two signs," many of his followers thought that he was the Moses prophet of our time. In his "Shunamite woman" stories, he was the great Elisha. When President Kennedy was in office, he proclaimed that he was the "Elijah," comparing Kennedy and Jacqueline to Ahab and Jezebel.
But he was not only attempting to present himself as the reincarnation of these Biblical prophets, Branham also attempted to bind his ministry to their ancient prophecies describing the Children of Israel and their opposition. After his Chicago Campaign, Branham began claiming that Nahum had prophesied concerning Outer Drive in Chicago rather than Ninevah as the book describes in verse 1.
"That great eagle called Nahum, four thousand years ago, went up so high in the Spirit of God until he seen Outer Drive in Chicago, four thousand years later. Said, 'The chariots shall rage in the broad ways: they shall run like lightning, they shall seem like torches, they'll justle one against another.'"
But during his times of declaring judgment, Branham's ministry was compared to that of Jonah. Making statements such as "A greater than Jonah is here," Branham declared that these cities and nations had made their "final decision," and would now pay the price. But unlike the Biblical Jonah, Branham's self-pronounced judgment is missing the most important element: the call to repentance. The God of the Bible would not punish a people without having first warned them of their egregious sin worthy of causing every man, woman, and child -- Christian or not -- to taste God's wrath.
Because of these missing elements, Branham's version of God quickly becomes a God of vengeance rather than a God of love and forgiveness. A Father who would slay his own children in a moment's notice and without having even explained why they would be slain. Biblical prophets who had the unfortunate task of declaring judgment upon a city mourned heavily for the sins of the city long before judgment was pronounced, because their mouth was used as a mouth of warning prior to correction. And their instructions were explicit; God told the people exactly what they were doing wrong, how to correct it, and reminded them of his tender mercies:
“‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the Lord. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the Lord; I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the Lord your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice,
declares the Lord"
- Jeremiah 3:12-13
When you review the events in the history of the United States for 1946, it is quickly evident that more good decisions were made than bad. Many were laying the groundwork for peace, some of their decisions still used to this day. 1946 was no pivotal year for a nation. But 1946 was a pivotal year for Branham's ministry.
Though Voice of God Recordings no longer publishes it, a 1945 pamphlet entitled "I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly Vision" describes William Branham's early successes. The "commission from God" is a little different, the healing strategy was a little different, and the "message" of that time was one of healing for the nation rather than judgment and doomsday. But for whatever reason, this ministry was abandoned in 1946.
In a 1947 newspaper article (http://seekyethetruth.com/files/henry/henry%20branham.pdf
), William Branham's brother Henry is described as having a very large tent meeting in Vandalia, IL. To a casual reader, it is just another faith healer in a long line of health-and-weath-gospel ministers. But to the person who has recently escaped the cult following of William Branham, it is an almost exact description of the William -- not Henry -- Branham that they know so well.
Later in 1956, Branham acknowledged the newspaper article, claiming that it was printed in error rather than describing his brother Henry:
"Chicago paper called me Brother Henry Branham. I never will forget that, the "Tribune" here in Chicago. Had two or three pages of it in the meeting, been a long time since then."
Branham, 56-1003 - Painted-Face Jezebel
But regardless of how it was achieved, this new ministry Branham describes in the 1947 newspaper started in his pivotal year "1946." And reviewing the early publications, no mention of this "Judgment" can be found. It is evident that his early campaigns made no mention of what he later claimed to have been prophecy. The newspapers printed stories about the "nattily dressed" faith healer rather than the doomsday prophet who scared an entire town during a tent revival.
Since William Branham never mentioned the "decision" that America made in 1946 that was worthy of innocent children being slaughtered, we decided we would present you with several major and entertaining events of that same year. You, as a reader, can decide which event Branham claimed to have offended God. We submit that in our opinion, America did not offend God in 1946. America offended William Branham in 1946.