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William Branham - The Y2K Doomsday Problem

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William Branham - The Y2K Doomsday Problem:

After reading a copy of the publication "Herald of the Morning," the Seventh Day Adventists' prophetic newsletter, Charles Taze Russell of the Jehovah's Witnesses became interested in doomsday prediction. The end of days had not come in 1874 as the Nelson Barbour predicted, and the Adventist leader was now trying to explain why he made such a prediction and why it was still valid. His explanation was that Jesus' "invisible return" commenced in the 1874 doomsday, and the rapture would take place in 1878. After this, in 1914, the entire world would be consumed.

Charles Taze Russell continued this doomsday prediction, claiming that 1874 would be the time when all prophecies for the current "age" would be fulfilled. Russell claimed that the "rapture" would take place in 1878, and that the would would be destroyed in 1914.

After the failed doomsday predictions, it did not weaken the cult following of Russell known today as the "Jehovah's Witnesses." Any who have had the pleasure of opening the door to face two men in long-sleeved, white shirts and black pants asking to share "the gospel" with you know that it is thriving. In fact, their recruiting has became much more effective to match today's world -- no longer do two men recruit. Now they are sending mothers pushing strollers, and fathers who are versed in the teachings of the cult leader.

Many in the cult following of William Branham are only aware of the failed 1977 doomsday prediction. In previous posts, we have examined some of Branham's doomsday predictions that place the end of the world long before 1977 -- only to be altered after the failed date. Like the other cult leaders that William Branham studied, one failed date simply transitioned the cult following into another.

But even fewer are aware that there were also dates .. after .. 1977. This is shocking to many who study and defend the doomsday prophet. According to the defense that is programmed in the minds of the cult following, William Branham could "see nothing past 1977." When they hear of a doomsday prediction Branham placed after 1977 raises many questions. "Why would he change it after placing so much emphasis on 1977 "ushering in the new millennium?" "Was he giving an uncertain sound?"

William Branham did, in fact, offer a doomsday prediction that was later than 1977, and he announced it after convincing his following of the 1977 date. Branham's first mention of 1977 is on a recording from November of 1960 (60-1113), and his last is on a recording from August of 1961 (61-0806). But in 1963, his "prediction" moved to the year 2000. Why? Because it was an even number in the thousands.

According to Branham's new doomsday prediction, the year 2000 was a reaping time. After this date, there would be "no flesh saved."

And, Father, so says our calendar, thirty-six more years and the work will be over, and You'll have to come sometime within that or there'll be no flesh saved.
Branham, 63-1124E - Three Kinds Of Believers

One logical argument to this additional date is that William Branham was matching Russell's doomsday strategy, predicting the date of the "rapture," and then predicting the date of the "end of days." Under this reasoning, Branham would be claiming that 1977 was the sudden catching away, and 2000 was the time when God refuses to save another soul. At any rate, Branham believed that there would be no salvation after the year 2000.

Is this why the cult focuses on growing from within, unlike the Jehovah's Witnesses and Latter Day Saints? Do they believe that no new converts can be saved after the year 2000? Does this mean that every "backslidden" cult follower has effectively lost his or her eternal salvation?