The Message And The Messenger Are One And The Same God:
Those who examine William Branham's sermons chronologically for any length of time begin to notice patterns in both style and doctrine. To the person who has recently left Branham's cult, this is a shocking and uncomfortable realization -- most followers of William Branham are programmed to believe that the cult leader came with a "Message," and that message was consistent throughout the years of his known ministry from 1933 to 1965.
To be fair, there are those in the cult following who have noticed differences, and at some point in time claimed that his true message came during and after 1963. Followers in this camp are led to believe that anything before 1963 can be easily excused and forgiven, because it was not "The Message." But the vast majority of followers mistakenly assume that his stance on doctrinal issues and strategy in general remained the same throughout his life. "Man can change," they claim with regards to Branham, "but God cannot change."
I would argue in favor of those in the Jeffersonville (Mecca) church in response to the separation of those specific years, however. If you truly believe any portion of William Branham's conflicting life stories, you must assume that all sermons from all years are required for preparing your soul for the impending destruction of the earth and the time when you will victoriously walk across the ashes of the current inhabitants of this earth -- Christians and non-Christians alike. Even the very first "supernatural event" Branham describes must remove all doubt on the entire series. If God spoke from the heavens to announce His "prophet," would you not listen to EVERY WORD?
This poses multiple problems for the cult. It appears that even Voice of God Recordings is aware of this problem, and has taken action (or rather, has NOT taken action) by leaving huge portions of the sermons untranslated to foreign languages. Those in foreign lands struggle to compare sermons chronologically, because not all sermons are available in their own tongue.
It is very evident that William Branham was focused and intent upon creating a cult following from the very beginning. When those most deeply programmed leave the cult, they mistakenly assume that Branham was a humble minister with good intentions who somehow went astray later in life due to either mental illness or bad company. It isn't until they examine the sermons early in his ministry that they realize his true ambition.
We don't have recordings from 1933 to 1946, but we can assume they are less polished that the 1947 recordings. When you compare Branham's strategy in 1947 to the later sermons, it is almost as if two different men are speaking. A 1947 William Branham will blatantly point to himself as the healer, while a 1963 Branham will claim that he looks to God for the healing. Ironically, when you examine his "Luke 17:30" doctrine that started in 1964, it could be argued that he pointed to himself as the God, since he applied this verse of scripture to his own ministry.
But in 1947, it is evident that he had not yet mastered the art of disguising his intentions. Making statements that he could heal the sick without even asking God, or describing followers who might be healed simply because Branham noticed them, his motive was clear. His "God complex" started long before it exposed itself in 1964. Through the help of F. F. Bosworth and the constraint of Ern Baxter, a large portion of the recordings were masked with the appearance of humility.
What if the years 1948 through 1963 were removed? What if you took the chronological sections of Branham's sermons that included pointing to himself as the healer, and then pointing to himself as God among men? How much different would these sermons look if you removed the section where other men helped constrain and disguise his "God complex?"
We'd be left with a man who referred to himself in the same way many Christians think of the woman who touched the hem of Christ's garment. A man whose "hem" was his eyes from the stage:
"I wonder if the little Spanish girl from Sacramento that was setting in that building that night, and set there; and she was setting way back in the building, and she had said within her heartâ€¦ She was Catholic. She said, 'I can't get to where Brother Branham is. But if he will only look at me in the eye, I'll be healed.'"
- Branham, 47-1102 - The Angel Of God
We'd be left with a man who did not need to contact God for healing, not even to pray:
"I'll take any cross-eyed child you've got in this meeting, you bring it up here without even praying for it, and just let me look at it straight in the eyes like that, I'll make its eyes come straight."
- Branham, 47-0412 - Faith Is The Substance
We'd be left with a Branham who used cheap magician's tricks one can see in a grade-school auditorium talent show, a Branham who challenged his congregation to move inanimate objects:
Now, you look right directly at that bracelet," and it hanging there in mid-air, "and you make that bracelet swing around and around in the room. Then you make it swing back and forth in the room, and then stop it, and I'll believe you have faith."
Branham, 47-0412 - Faith Is The Substance
We'd be left with a Branham who convinced his following that he was "Elijah," one who repeated the words, "Thus Saith The Lord" to almost any situation or doctrine whether godlike or unscriptural. A man who called "The Message" itself the return of Jesus Christ, and then convinced his following that the message and the messenger were one and the same:
Then when a man comes with THUS SAITH THE LORD, he and the Message is one. And when Elijah come with THUS SAITH THE LORD, he and his message became one. Just as Jesus, when He come, He was the Word, Saint John 1. So the Word of God and the messenger of the age was the selfsame thing, all the time. That's right.
Branham, 65-0718E - Spiritual Food In Due Season
If you took away the staged humility of the sermons from 1948 through 1963, you'd be left with a man who thought himself to be God:
"But the Elijah of this day is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to come according to Matthew the seventeen-â€¦ Luke 17:30, says the Son of man is to reveal Himself among His people. Not a man, God! But it'll come through a prophet."
Branham, 65-1127B - Trying To Do God A Service http://youtu.be/6pft4EjzIRo