Henry Branham - We're Getting Some new Gadgets for Recording:
When you first open up "The Table," the software sold by Voice of God Recordings to search over a thousand sermons recorded by William Marrion Branham, the first words of the first sentence that form the first paragraph stare you in the face:
"We're getting some new gadgets for recording."
To the cult follower who has never critically examined William Branham's ministry, these words mean very little. In fact, it is quickly skipped to review and examine other, more interesting subjects -- not realizing that this single sentence, in of itself, tells a long story.
Most people in the cult following of William Branham are unaware that the "Message" we know, recorded from April 1947 to December 1965, was William Branham's second attempt at creating a following. Without thinking about that first sentence, they mistakenly assume that this recording is William Branham's first recorded sermon, and that there were no other recordings before this. Why? William Branham often claimed that his ministry began in 1947:
"And a strange thing of that, that you might not know, the very day the Angel of the Lord called me out, May the 6th, 1947, and issued the gift to pray for the sick, was the very same day that Israel become a nation for the first time for twenty-five hundred years. Oh, I believe there's something in it. I just can't keep from believing that we're near the end of time. That's right."
Branham, 54-0718A - The Great Coming Revival
There are multiple interesting points to consider when reading this quote and comparing it to the very first sentence in "The Table." If there were no previous recordings, why would the entire ministry start out with advertising the new technology that was on its way? Why not start your ministry with the new technology to begin with?
Though you won't find this particular tract sold at Voice of God Recordings, William Branham describes a thriving ministry, filled with testimonies of healing and visions of "his people" in 1945. Entitled, "I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly Vision," Branham describes his "heavenly vision" that commissioned him to travel the cities and use his "Gift of Healing." This tract described the results of that "Gift," and gave testimony to his 1945 healing campaign. http://www.seekyethetruth.com/files/awareness/i%20was%20not%20disobedient%20to%20the%20heavenly%20vision.pdf
But how can he have promoted his "Gift of Healing" in 1945 when his "Commission" to heal the sick, given to him by angelic visitation, came in May of 1947? And how does one explain the first recorded sermon of April 1947, one month earlier? Could he have simply forgotten?
Branham claimed that a very important milestone in history marked his angelic visitation, leading the listener to believe that God was executing a master plan that included both Israel and Branham. He remembers the May 6th date very well, because it was -- according to William Branham -- the very day that Israel became a nation. Interestingly, it wasn't accurate. Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948.
But to the original sentence that Branham spoke, advertising new "gadgets" for recording, one must ask: what were those gadgets? Was he simply purchasing a new tape recorder?
The earliest recordings we have for William Branham were created using a "wire recorder." These recorders became popular in the 1940's, and were widely used until 1954. Invented between 1898 and 1900 by Danish inventor Valdemar Poulsen, the original patent named this device the"Telegraphone." And similar to magnetic tape, reels of steel wire held magnetic recording of sound. But at the time of Branham's using this device, they were not as easy to obtain as we see with our media devices in stores around the world. Only about a thousand were produced, and simple supply-and-demand would tell you that the wire recorders would have been an expensive purchase and mostly used in industrial scenarios. http://www.recording-history.org/HTML/wire1.php
But as you can tell by listening to the first few sermons, the audio quality was very poor. To gain a cult following through repeatedly hearing his recorded voice, Branham must improve that voice. He needed newer, more expensive technology, and purchased tape recording equipment instead of wire recorders. And thanks to the Brush Development Company of Cleveland, Ohio and the Armour Research Foundation of the Armour Institute of Technology, the technology used to mass produce tape recorders was fairly inexpensive. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tape_recorder
When you study the technology of the day, you are quickly faced with another set of questions. How could he have afforded the expensive equipment before 1947, when he didn't "have two pennies to scrape together?" Wasn't he a poor, backwoods preacher until the 1950's?
Comparing Branham's statements on recorded sermon to the photographs and newspapers captured or printed for any time period of Branham's life, one can quickly realize that the life story portions of his ministry were nothing more than stage persona. The first time one sees Branham in an expensive white suit, it raises several questions about his borrowed suits and "seersucker trousers."
In Vandalia, Illinois in June of 1947, one can find a young "Henry Branham" preaching what we now know as "The Message" -- but with slight variations. Rather than the May 1947 date or the large following of 1945, "Henry" describes an angelic commission in late 1946. And the reporters describe "Henry" as "nattily dressed," as one would describe a riverboat gambler, preaching from a large tent with expensive loudspeakers and electronic equipment. The meeting sounded more like a circus entering town than it did a poor, backwoods preacher. http://seekyethetruth.com/files/henry/henry%20branham.pdf
So next time you open "The Table," and see the sentence, "We're getting some new gadgets for recording," don't overlook it. Stop and study the huge story behind this sentence. Think about the many internal contradictions that this single sentence can bring to the ministry of William Branham. Think about the sermons we don't have, the ones that would describe his 1945 ministry instead of his 1947 ministry. Why don't we have access to information regarding the earlier healing campaigns?