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The Easy Questions: The Admittedly Failed India Vision

To our knowledge William Branham only admitted to one of his many failed prophecies. In 1957, Branham confessed to his congregation that he did not have success with his India trip (the focus of a 1954 prophecy).

as many of you might know, the Indian trip wasn't the success that it should've been, because I failed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and never recognized it after He give me a vision to go to Africa first and then to India. And—and some of the brethren said, "Oh, just... We can't get Africa together, so... Brother Roberts has just been down there, so take off to India." And under the influence of my brethren, well maybe taught... But no matter what someone influences you, if God has told you something different... And now, judge it by the Word (See?), by the Word, and then go.
Branham, 57-0126B - India Trip Report

According to William Branham, his "prophecy" failed because of the order of his travel plans. After returning unsuccessfully, Branham claims that his "vision" placed Africa before India in his itinerary. But though this "vision" was written down, William Branham was very inconcistent in his account of God's divine plan for order of importance. Often, Branham claimed the exact opposite when describing his failed prophecy:

The vision said "You'll go to India first and then back to Africa." See, I—I wrote it myself. I wrote the thing myself. Branham, 57-1208 - I Stand At The Door And Knock

But does God place the honor of a "prophet" above the salvation of countless millions of people? According to William Branham's first declaration of prophecy concerning his India trip, "tens of thousands times thousands" would be saved.

Mark my word; write it in the pages of your Bible, for it's THUS SAITH THE LORD, "Remember, when we land in India, you're going to hear of tens of thousands times thousands being saved." The Holy Spirit has said it; I've wrote it here in my Bible; it's wrote in tens of thousands of Bibles right here, like the resurrection of the little boy. By a vision that He said, "There's three hundred thousand of them in there." And you see if that isn't right. There's how the Gospel's going to be preached just overnight. She'll just sweep like that from place to place.
Branham, 54-0515

But the crowds soon forgot Branham's admission to failure, and over time the failure was long forgotten. Instead, Branham continued to declare that his prophetic gift never failed, and that anything that he said with "Thus saith the Lord" could never fail."

But when you speak, "THUS SAITH THE LORD," it's not you. Watch on the platform. Have you ever seen it fail? THUS SAITH THE LORD is perfect, never has failed. And as long as it is THUS SAITH THE LORD, it can't fail.
62-1230E - Is This The Sign Of The End, Sir?

A vision has never failed. Now I'm going to tell you, Jean, it's THUS SAITH THE LORD! See?" See
Branham, 63-0116 - The Evening Messenger

Though his prophetic "gift" and claims to perfect statistics were not consistent, Branham appears to have used these trips largely to his advantage. Pictures are surfacing now of Branham's excursions and safaris, and questions are now being raised as to the motives and intentions of these trips. From the looks of the photos, it is evident that they were very costly vacations.

Did William Branham mislead the people in his claims to prophetic insight for the sake of his own benefit?

Photos of Branham's Trip To Africa:

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Branham's Statements About His India Trip (African Excursion):

And as--as soon as I get my debt paid off, every penny that we can have, will go right into a little fund, and we'll... soon as we get enough, then right straight to South Africa, and over to India, and just as far as they'll let us reach. As soon as we can get enough to make it, to try to bring the Gospel message to Africa. We love Africa, because the last six-weeks meeting we had in Africa, produced a hundred thousand conversions. In one day, thirty-thousand people accepted Jesus Christ as personal Saviour in one day. Aren't you happy for that?

Now, and I thank you from the depths of my soul for your offering. I will do all that I can to glorify God. I'm trying my best now to get back to... I'm sure by... I told you the vision this afternoon, and there will be a meeting that I will hold somewhere, and I believe it's in India, near Bombay, that there'll be three hundred thousand people, and I don't know how many converts there will be in that meeting, probably run up to a hundred and fifty, two hundred thousand people, converted. And the little fragments that's left over this afternoon and tonight, will go for that purpose. And at that day, God reward you, each one for giving it is my prayer.

I--I'm just kind of going on impressions, the way that He seems to be leading me. I had one meeting that I'm going to. I know where that meeting is. That meeting is in--in one of them in South Africa, the other one is in India. And that's going to be a real meeting. That's going to be where God makes Hisself known to three hundred thousand people.

Usually Brother Bosworth, or Brother Baxter, some of them, explain all about the working of the Holy Spirit in our meetings. And I don't... I'd walk straight to the platform to start the meeting. But they had... I told them, just last week. I said, "I don't know why I'm in Hammond." But I understand now, so then... Now, they'll take over. I was speaking myself. Perhaps through speaking, I could find something or see where it was. Until I found what it was, and God has been glorified. And now, from henceforth, the managers will do the speaking. I will just pray for the sick. And each night maybe read a Scripture, and just start praying for the sick.

And you people setting here in this audience tonight, will hear of the meeting. Where it'll be, I believe it'll be in India. It looked like Indians to me. I could see them, and I was at the Durban meeting. I seen it going away into history, turning blue. I looked in front of me and there was still more people, thousands, greater than the first crowd was there. I believe I will be at Durban again. Then He turned to the left and I looked, and there was so many people, innumerable. Now remember, keep that on your mind. Write it on a piece of paper; lay it in your Bible; put it on the flyleaf somewhere. You'll hear through the magazine: "Brother Branham had a meeting," (somewhere in Orients, or down in India, I believe, or Africa, somewhere), "where three hundred thousand people attended the meeting."

And as soon as our Lord tells me the hour, the time to move, I'm going into Africa, and from there to India, where I will fulfill a vision that God has given me of three hundred thousand people. And you remember to keep that in mind. And you'll see it appear in different places. And now, you remember, that is the truth. God has spoken that, and it will be so. 52-0720E WHO.HAS.BELIEVED.OUR.REPORT Remember, I'm going to hold a meeting somewhere east of Durban, I believe in India, that'll consist of three hundred thousand people. That's before it comes to pass, that you might know. Just as I have said, about the little boy being raised in Finland. Many of you heard that testimony before it was ever--before we even left the United States, a year before, that little boy would be raised from the dead, and so forth.

And, Father, I believe tonight, that as sure as I'm standing in the pulpit here tonight on this platform, that there is soon a time, when You'll be with me and will help me in Africa or in India. Be near me now. Stand by me tonight. And bless me, and keep Thy loving wings of mercy over us, making an atonement for our sins and trespasses, forgiving us of all things, and helping us to live for You.

And I was glad to get to meet Brother Bosworth again. You know, we was talking about him last night, he and his son and them. And Brother Bosworth is feeling very much led that he's to go on ahead of us to South Africa. He wants to go down right away with a--to make arrangements down there and have some services down around Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Kler--Klerksdorp or--I guess I pronounced that right: Klarksdoff, and Bloemfontein, and through that part of the country there. And just before we come down... We're... According to the vision that the Lord has given me in--to return to Durban, and then from there to Bombay or somewhere up in India. And you just remember what I have told you last evening about the vision that the Lord gave, and see if it isn't just exactly that way.

We're trying to build up enough to get back in there where we had a hundred thousand conversions in six weeks, thirty thousand in one day. Think of it. Heathens, raw heathens, and-- and Mohammedans, thirty thousand in one day. That's wonderful, isn't it? Now, you can't blame me from wanting to go back. The first time they see the power of God go out there to a heathen, that don't even know nothing about it, can't even speak his language, and maybe many interpreters standing here. They see what he is a Basothu, Shangai, or whatever it is, and they started speaking, and telling him all about his life, and where he come from, what he did and things like that. They just scream and fall on their face: God. Paul knew years ago, it takes a miracle to convert a heathen. Jesus Christ always knowed it. Recently when we was talking to a missionary from India, where God has told me to go to, where I will have a crowd of three hundred thousand people in one meeting... Notice, in that same man, he said, "There's only one thing Brother Branham, that'll ever stir the people of India from those Mohammedans, and idolaters and so forth, it'll take the real power of God. Where demons when they rise up, the power of God there is to let them down. Be sure you know what you're talking of.

And then the Lord gave the vision, and said, "In India, that three hundred thousand people attend one meeting." You write that down, see if that's right or not.

If we went down through India today, you'd find along the side of the streets, many people maybe laying on spikes, walking through fire, and tormenting themselves in some way. Some of them, of course, are just clowning, 'cause it's for tourists. But back in those inlands is the real man who's laying back there, afflicting himself, thinking that he can find rest and peace, pray-- praying to Mohammed.

And the Lord has blessed greatly, and I'm fixing to leave now, again, to Africa, to India, to Palestine, and to--up into many of the different European countries, for I believe that time is at hand. I believe our Lord is doing things real quickly.

Our group is broke up. Brother Bosworth's in Durban, South Africa, getting ready for the meeting. He's setting the inter... the national committee together. We was there a few months ago and had thirty thousand converts in one altar call: Durban, South Africa. Then we're going to India, Baron Von Blomberg, a baron of Germany, which is one of our managers, leaves the fifteenth to go to make a dinner with Nehru in India. I have a little dinner with Nehru, then we come back to have a dinner with the king of Transjordan. And we go into the Mohammedans.

I'm going home now, to get ready for Africa, and India, and Palestine, Germany, many places overseas.

Now, I'm very thankful, expressing my thanks tonight to Brother Reed, and to Sister Reed, to the officers of this church, to every member, for your fine cooperation during this time. We are... little party has been scattered, different ones are home resting. Mr. Sharritt's in Phoenix, Arizona. Mr. Bosworth's in Durban, South Africa setting a meeting together. Baron Von Blomberg's in India making a--ready a dinner. I'm to have a dinner with Mr. Nehru, which is the prime minister of India. And then, he goes from there, to the King of Transjordan for a little dinner. And then we go in from there, from the Mohammedans over to Israel, and from there up to Luxembourg, Germany. Mr. Baxter, the speaker, he's in British Columbia.

I miss Brother Baxter. We've been together so long, Brother Baxter and I, till he just seems like he's just become a part of me. I miss him when I go to at the platform. I've had some services recently by myself, and I look around for him. He's been my--not only my co-worker, but my pal. And he has to leave me now to go see about Africa, and India, Germany, many other places: Palestine, Transjordan, for the overseas trip that's coming up just as quick as we can get it arranged. It has to go through some governmental affairs before... They've already cut off all missionaries in India. You know that. So by Mr. Nehru, having a dinner with him, gives us a little prestige to get to go into India.

My minds keep drifting back to that poor little boy, to the vision. Across the nations, way down in Africa in that heathen land to see what You would do there, and the marvelous works, and thousands coming at one time to know Thee. God, tonight I pray there in Boston, that You're making arrangements right now for us to move into Africa and India, down into Palestine. We realize the day is evil and the time is short.
So He told me that--what was going to take place. And He said that. This Angel came down, and He told me to turn and look this a-way. And it looked towards India now. And I don't say it's Copyright 2012, 23 in India, but it's near. But they were Indian people,'cause the Africans are big burly, heavy fat-like people. Some of them are nearly seven-foot tall, and weigh, oh, two hundred and eighty, or three hundred pounds, burly: the Zulus, Now, the Shangai and the Basothu, and, oh, there's many different tribes. There's fifteen different tribes setting there that day I was speaking to.

And strange the other night, Brother Baxter and I have been talking, maybe, perhaps, going to India and just bypassing Africa, because there's two or three groups over there. One of them is Afrikaans and the other one is a English speaking. Well, the Afrikaans thinks the English... anyone speaks English... They've never got over the Boer War yet. And so they still have it at one another's neck.

That's the morning He told me; here's the vision wrote out right here about India and Africa, written right on my flyleaf of the Bible here, and any of you that wants a copy of it can sure have it. And you mark that down and see if it isn't word by word how it'll come to pass. See if there isn't three hundred and fifty thousand people comes to God in India when we get there. See if that isn't right. See if it don't appear in these magazines and things just the same way. Just like the little boy in Finland and so forth, it's God foretelling things what will come.

Here it is written right here in the back flyleaf of my Bible: a vision and it cannot fail. See? It will be just that way. Just as soon as I get through just a moment. One night I want to give you the vision so you can write it down on a piece of paper and see if it comes to pass or not. And it's bound to come to pass.

Now, pretty soon, if God willing, I'll be going into dark Africa, and from there up into India, From India into, across Transjordan, from there over into Palestine, from Palestine into Luxembourg, Germany, Frankfurt, back over into London, England. Way down in Africa, those dark continents, oh, witch doctors would challenge you in a moment, come by the dozen. And when you have to produce what you're talking about, no fooling there... When men come along with witches and perform all kinds of signs and enchantments like that, you've got to know the God that stood with Moses Who can curse that thing, and throw it away, and ride over the top of it. See?

I went and told Billy. Went on a few days, he had been fishing down the river. He come back up, and he said to me... We got a doctor friend there that's a very good pal of mine, Dr. Sam Adair. And so some man come over from India, and I went down in New Albany, we was talking over the possibilities of the Pentecostal churches of India cooperating in the meeting and so forth.
53-1213E FAITH

So one morning, when this vision right here, I got wrote out, which came to me, the Word of the Lord, which will take place in Africa and India, I'll give it to you so you can write it down. See if it don't come Word by Word the way

Then we go from there back to Louisville, Kentucky, up into Canada, over in Des Moines, Iowa. And then from there to New York, and then to Durban, South Africa, India, Bombay, Calcutta, up into Palestine, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Paris, London, then back home again. Just traveling along for our Lord Jesus. We're believing the Lord to give us a half a million souls on this next tour for the great cause of Jesus Christ and the Full Gospel churches of the world.

And then from there, to Durban, South Africa. This time, it isn't my choice, my setting. It's THUS SAITH THE LORD. And to go to Africa, India, Palestine, Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Germany, and London, and then to Paris, then back home.

And the arrangements are already made to begin in Durban, South--in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September, about the third. And then we go on from there into Durban, and to India, and to Palestine, and Luxembourg, and Frankfurt, and Transjordan, and all through there.

We have just left Africa recently, where I'm to return again in the next few weeks: Africa, India, Palestine, Germany and... [] a ministry.

When the archbishop of India came to my place, recently, and received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, Archbishop Palai, he said, "Brother Branham, the way they're looking for you there, so that meant converts." Said, "I'll assure you, there'll be anywhere from a half to a million people in your congregation." He said, "All India's awaiting." And with this vision to back it up, watch what our Lord will do. See? I'm expecting a half a million converts in my journey. We go to Africa, to India, to Palestine, to Luxembourg, and Frankfurt, back to London, and then back home; and then down in South--Australia, New Zealand, and down in there. Now, perhaps, maybe I'll get to see you after I come back from overseas.

It's an oriental book. We're teaching It in--in a western way, and It's an oriental book written in the eastern way. And our parables and things that we teach out of there sometimes is as far as the east from the west of being right, the way we teach it. You have to see--have to go to the country where the Book was written to understand what they mean."

I was praying for some people in the house, and went out in my house, went into another room, come back through to--was answering telephone, and come through the little hall, going back into another room. There'd been a couple more carloads come in since I was in the room--of answering this phone, emergency long distance. And when I started through the room, there stood a man standing there. And he had a towel, looked like, over his head like this, hanging down. He's kind of a dark complected looking fellow. Looked like his nose was kindly pushed on the end or like it kindly stumped like that. He was standing there looking right at me. I thought he'd been a patient just come in. And I said, "How do you do, sir?" And I... He was a standing right in my road, so I said, "How do you do, sir?" And he said, looked up like that and said, "Brother Branham, don't go overseas till September." Now, I said, "What..." Well, I looked, and the man was gone. Now, if that ain't just like the Macedonian call, that went over to...?... It's the same Angel of the Lord. See?

Mark my word; write it in the pages of your Bible, for it's THUS SAITH THE LORD, "Remember, when we land in India, you're going to hear of tens of thousands times thousands being saved." The Holy Spirit has said it; I've wrote it here in my Bible; it's wrote in tens of thousands of Bibles right here, like the resurrection of the little boy. By a vision that He said, "There's three hundred thousand of them in there." And you see if that isn't right. There's how the Gospel's going to be preached just overnight. She'll just sweep like that from place to place.

And from that day to this, there hasn't been one trace of it. I gained up to a hundred and sixty-five pounds now. See what God can do? Now, I am returning back to Africa, or to India, rather, on this meeting. And you mark what I have told you tonight, and write it down on a piece of paper, and see if it comes to pass that way or not. That's the way God will bring it; that's the way God has done it up this far; and it'll be that way when I get there. If I have ever been fought on anything... I know I have Indian friends setting here tonight. If I have ever been fought on any meeting I ever went to, the worst I've ever been fought, is India this time. It's either this, that the devil has set a something trying his best to keep me away from there, or something. But God told me to go, and I'm on my road day after tomorrow morning, the Lord willing, to see His Word come to pass.

When I held my hand there, and when the prayer, of course wasn't interpreted, when I dropped my hands, the man looked. He let out a scream. He grabbed me around the waist. He grabbed the mayor of the city and begin hugging him and kissing him. He was just--could see as good as any man setting in here. I'm telling you: a frantic, a scream went from those people, and the whole thing went into a turmoil. Two or three hours later, they got me through the crowd with a army there trying to push them back. I had no pockets in my coats. My shoes was gone. They'd pulled every clothes off of me, nearly stripping me, screaming and crying. And the next day with sorrow. I had to leave India with a promise that I'd be back again.
BRANHAM, India Trip Report, January 26, 1957 (tape #57-0126B)

And when... I had been very much constrained to go to--to India. And yet, as many of you might know, the Indian trip wasn't the success that it should've been, because I failed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and never recognized it after He give me a vision to go to Africa first and then to India.
BRANHAM, India Trip Report, January 26, 1957 (tape #57-0126B)

I just got my telegram back this morning from Durban, South Africa. The vision where three hundred thousand people will be gathered pretty soon for a meeting which is coming up right away...

You all know where I'm going, don't you? Africa! I've called for a long time; for years I've tried to get back. Now a vision, the Spirit of the Lord has prepared the way.

And now I'm certainly soliciting the prayers of the people out in the radio land, as well as here. After I leave this meeting, I'm going to Europe, down into Africa and around, on meetings. And this is going by a vision, so it's going to be a great meeting there, I'm sure. And I felt for years that the Lord has wanted me to come back.

And I--I'm going to South Africa after this. For, oh, my, you know how it is down there where you can't even talk to the people. And there'd be... We're at least expecting three hundred thousand, one single meeting. So you just believe!

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