When God allows a prophet to see into the future, the events made known cannot
be wrong; God Himself cannot be wrong. For this reason, the Bible tells us that
we are to test the prophets — if any single prophecy given does not come to pass
exactly as the prophet has spoken, than the prophet was not speaking from the authority
of God. Instead, we are instructed to avoid the prophet, because they are attempting
to lead us astray.
Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain
from every form of evil.
1 Thessalonians 5:20-22
But the prophet who shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not
commanded him to speak, or which he shall speak in the name of other gods, that
prophet shall die. And you may say in your heart, How shall we know the word which
the LORD has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing
does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken.
The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.
claimed to have been given a vision by God concerning the construction
of the Clark Memorial Bridge that joins Southern Indiana to Louisville Kentucky
over the Ohio River. In his descriptions of this vision, Branham claimed to have
seen the deaths of sixteen men as they fell from the bridge. It was a prophecy of
destruction, similar to other prophecies given by Branham to his followers; a proclamation
of death from God through this prophet without reason or a plea for repentance.
As Christians, we should examine every prophecy, no matter how big or small, and
learn what God is trying to tell us. What was the importance of this prophecy? Did
God issue a warning of judgment without a call to repentance? Does this prophecy
lead us closer to God, or simply closer to William Branham as the "seer?" Did this
prophecy come to pass as Branham Claimed?
began construction in June 1928,
and was finally opened to the public on October 31, 1929 as a toll bridge. According
to government records, this would place William Branham at an age of 20, which would
place Branham at an age to give the warning to the target of the prophecy — the
men whose lives would be claimed and the families that would lose their loved one.
But history tells a much different story. During its construction, the operations
were monitored by the United States Coast Guard. Their observation of the construction
is recorded in
, and those logs record everything from the barometric pressures
to the groceries and other supplies needed by the men at work. The logs do record
deaths, but not from a fall from the bridge. While they describe several rescue
operations and and two fatalities.
It is common knowledge that several men died from a bridge spanning the Ohio River
from Kentucky into Indiana, however, and that history can be found in any of the
historical records of Jeffersonville. There were over thirty fatalities curing the
construction of the
twenty of which occurred during a single incident. But interestingly, before the death toll had been fully assessed,
newspapers around the country printed articles about sixteen men dying in the caisson. Articles with titles such as
"Sixteen men drown like rats" were published in several states. (see below).
Big Four bridge was built in sections placed upon pillars, and during severe winds
one section was damaged. Forty-one workers were standing upon this section when
it fell, and the construction came to a halt while they repaired the bridge with
The Clark Memorial Bridge, on the other hand, was not constructed in this manner.
According to the local bridge authorities, the method used during its construction
is the same method used today, and this type of bridge construction has endured
due to its increased safety. The Clark Memorial bridge was seen as a huge success
with a limited number of fatalities, none of which were a result of a worker falling
to his or her death.
This prophecy is clearly the result of the words of a man, not the Word from the
Lord. The Big Four Bridge ended construction in 1895, long before William Branham
was born. Since there is no record of this prophecy being given before the event,
it would seem as though William Branham claimed an event in the history of the city
as a new 'prophecy,' but like the other prophesies we will examine, the facts do
not match the declaration of prophecy. The prophet has spoken presumptuously.
on the bridge prophecy may be found at www.searchingforvindication.com.
Detailed coast guard logs can be found here
Sixteen Men Killed On A Bridge
Back To The Easy Questions
Newspaper articles describing two deaths on the George Rogers Clark Municipal Bridge
Jeffersonville Evening News, June 19, 1929
Jeffersonville Evening News, September 11 1929
Newspaper articles describing the deaths on the Big Four Bridge:
Jeffersonville's account of the Big Four Bridge Tragedy of 1890:
Jeffersonville News, January 10, 1890
Other accounts of the 1890 tragedy:
Altoona Tribune Sat, Jan 11, 1890
Dixon Evening Telegraph Fri, Jan 10, 1890
Sterling Daily Gazette Fri, Jan 10, 1890
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Sat, Jan 11, 1890
The Ottawa Journal Fri, Jan 10, 1890
The Times Sat, Jan 11, 1890
Another tragedy in 1893:
Jeffersonville News, December 15, 1893
Jeffersonville News, December 16, 1893
Jeffersonville News, December 18, 1893
Jeffersonville News, December 19, 1893
Branham's accounts of this prophecy:
Now, that's the way the gift is supposed to be working. See? Now, I want you to
notice this. It wasn't my sincere prayer that brought this gift. Gifts are not brought
by sincere prayers. Gifts are foreordained of God. They're ordained and sent. Here
at the Municipal Bridge. Sister, no doubt you know where the Municipal Bridge is,
don't you, cross from Jeffersonville to Louisville? Twenty-two years, when I was
a little boy, just a little bitty lad about five years old, or six years old, when
the Angel of the Lord appeared in the bush... You've heard me tell that haven't you,
when I was packing water? Well, about two weeks after that, I was playing marbles
with my little brother. And I thought I'd got sick, some real funny feeling came
on me. And I went and set down by the side of a tree. And I looked down at the river,
and there went a bridge, a big, great big bridge going across the river. And I counted
sixteen men that fell off of that bridge and drowned. And I went and told mother.
And I told her I seen it. And they thought I was crazy or something. They thought
I was just at a little nervous hysterical child. And twenty-two years from that
time, on the same ground went the Municipal Bridge across, and sixteen men lost
their lives on it. See? Wasn't nothing that... It's-it's God sent it. Your prayers
brought it. See?
And I'm very happy tonight to start the prayer line here in-in Minneapolis. And
I desire all of you to pray for me while I'm praying for others, and have faith
and believe that what I tell you is the truth. Most all of you, oh, I guess, in
here, and the manager has been explained the way, they... it came to me and was ministered
by an Angel, Who one night walked into the room. When I was a little boy, it started.
It would talk to me down through life. One time when I was about seven years old,
it came out of a bush. A whirlwind was whirling in the bush, and it said for me
never to drink, or to smoke, or defile my body; there was something for me to do.
Now, my people were formerly Catholic and there was not very much that-that they
knew about it, and they just kept those things down. And about four days after that,
it appeared to me and a strange feeling came upon me, as it always does, and I seen
the Municipal Bridge, at Jeffersonville, cross, come up out of the wilderness on
the hill where I was standing, and crossed the river. I seen sixteen men fall off
of it. They put that down and twenty-two years from that day, the Municipal Bridge
spanned the river at the same place and sixteen men lost their life on it. And just
things like that. It's nothing I can do in myself. It's just what He shows me, is
all I can speak. Only thing that any true man of God could ever say, but what God
would put in his mouth to say. Outside of that, it would totally be a failure. And
when It met me, many times, and told many things which I probably get a chance after
while, to tell you in one of the meetings.
50-0713 OBEY THE VOICE OF THE ANGEL
Here's mother setting here tonight. I ran as hard as I could. She thought a snake
had bit me or something. But I wouldn't tell her. And my little brother and I, a
few days later from that was setting out under the tree. We'd been playing marbles.
And I felt a peculiar feeling, like a... Something was standing near me. And all at
once, something happened. I set down. And I looked, and I seen coming up out of
the river a big bridge, spanned across the river, and sixteen people fell off of
it. I went and told them. They said, "Why, you dreamed." I Said, "No, I looked at
it. I seen it." Twenty-two years from that time, the big Municipal Bridge spanned
across the Ohio River, and sixteen men lost their life on it. And it just started
like that, and begin... That was before I was ever even a Christian. My people wasn't
Christian. Gifts and callings are without repentance. It's a foreordination of God.
Then It kept telling things on down.
50-0813 GOD REVEALING HIMSELF TO HIS PEOPLE
When I was a child, twenty-two years before this beautiful bridge spanned the river,
setting down in my yard, I seen this thing go across the river and seen the men
that lost their life on it. My mother thought I was nervous. Right here at Mr. Wathen's
on Utica Pike when I was packing water in two little syrup buckets, out of the bush
come a sound of "Whew." [Brother Branham makes a blowing sound-Ed.)] I didn't see
no leaves blowing nowhere, and looked up in the tree, looked like a barrel-size,
going back and forth in the tree. And out of there come an audible voice and it
said, "Don't you never smoke or drink or defile your body in any way. There'll be
a work for you to do when you get older." I'm at home. I'm among people. I'm among
young ladies that I went with in my young days. I'm amongst boys here, boyfriends
that I played together. I ask you today if you ever seen me smoke, drink, or be
drunk, or-or defile myself in-in that way? No, sir. I did not. Not for my goodness,
but it's by His mercy, His foreordained will for me to do this.
51-0923 THE PRINCIPLES OF DIVINE HEALING
And coming down along a lane, which many people right here in this building now,
that I see, Brother Ryan, for one, setting here, Brother Bosworth, for another one,
sitting near, and Brother Baxter is near. I've taken them right to the place; they've
seen the place and all about it. People come from Canada, and everywhere, going
in there wanting to see that place, know where it's at. And there, One spoke to
me from out of a tall poplar tree, that said, "Don't you never smoke, drink, or
defile your body, for there's a work for you do when you get older." Why, it liked
to scared me to death. I run home. Mother thought I was hurt or something, and-or
bitten by a snake. Then a few days after that, setting... That was my first vision,
setting out there under a big silver poplar tree in the front yard, where the tree
stands yet today... Standing out there in the front of that place, I seen Something,
like yesterday afternoon, I seen Him coming upon me, that I never... I didn't know
what it was. In a little bit I moved off, and I looked, and I seen moving up out
of those bushes down by the river, and along there came a big bridge, and it spanned
across the river. I seen men dropping off of it and losing their lives. And I went
in and told mama. She said, "Honey, you went to sleep." I said, "Mama, I was not
asleep." I said, "I was setting there. I had a funny feeling, mama." I said, "Oh,
I'm scared, mama. What's the matter with me?" She said, "Oh, you're just nervous,
honey." I said, "Mama, something... I don't want to feel this way." And it was Something
moving. And just... She wrote it down. And twenty-two years from that time, the Municipal
Bridge which spans the Ohio River run across at the same place, and the same amount
of men dropped off the bridge and lost their lives, just exactly. From that it would
take... Some of these days, I want to set on a tape recording, and tell it in detail,
which would take hours, and hours, and hours, to go into the things from a little
boy, that I'd see things. I seen the '37 flood coming. I remember, I stood right
on Fall's City Transfer Company; many you all acquainted with Jeffersonville, knows
where that's at. I stood there and was preaching. I'd become a minister then. Many
other things happened along the line, oh, it's numerous. How It would tell me to
watch at a certain place, do a certain thing.
52-0713 EARLY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES
So then, I remember about two weeks after that, I was playing marble with my brother,
and there I-I felt something strange come over me. I didn't know what was taking
place. And I went out, set down just a minute, and I looked, and right before me,
I seen something moving. And the waters looked like the river was looking closer
to me. And I seen the Municipal Bridge that spans the river now, come up and cross
the river, and seen the amount of men dropped off, and went in and told my mama.
She said, "You had a dream, honey." I said, "No, ma'am. I stood and looked right
at it, and I seen what it did." And-and twenty-two years from that very same year,
the bridge which spans the Ohio River, and just exactly the same amount of men lost
their life. And they just kept on going. Every time, everywhere, just vision after
53-1108 LIFE STORY
No, they happen all the time. They've been since I was a little baby. The first
thing I can remember in life, was a vision. And gifts and callings are without repentance.
When I was only six, oh, not over five or six minutes old, my mother tells me that
when the old midwife, washing me as a little bitty five pound baby, and laid me
on the arm of my mother, when she opened up the-the old door for a window we had
in the little cabin, that that Light come in, hung there. When I was eighteen months
old, I remember of a Voice speaking to me and telling me that was going to live
near a city called New Albany. And I have. At the age of just a little bitty boy,
I could remember He speaking to me and telling me about a bridge that was going
to span the river, how many men would lose their life on that bridge. And they wrote
it down to see what it was all about. They thought I was dreaming. I was out in
the yard, just something come over me, and I set down. I seen it. And I went and
told mother, she said, "You went to sleep, honey." I said, "No, ma'am, I never went
to sleep. I stood and watched It come up out of the bushes." And twenty-two years
from that time, the Municipal Bridge span across the Ohio River, and the same sixteen
men lost their live on it, just like It said. See? And it's always been that way.
And Christian friends, to the best of my soul, I say this for God's glory: I have
never seen one time but what it was just as perfect, just exactly the way It said
it would be. And many people come... You might think, "Well, Brother Branham, does
just the common class of people come?" No. Multi-millionaires, doctors, everybody
comes. There's been some of the best doctors that this nation has, is set in my
home, and I've led them to Christ: the best of doctors.
53-1206 DO YOU NOW BELIEVE
A little later on, about two weeks later I was playing marbles with my brother,
and I felt something come to me. We lived up on a hill, and the river was below
us: a wilderness around. And I saw a bridge come up out of the wilderness. And it
started across the river. Sixteen men dropped off in-into the water and perished.
And I seen a big sign, it said "twenty-two years." I run in and told my mother.
Oh, she said, "Son, you're nervous. You went to sleep and you were dreaming." I
said, "No. No. I saw it." So they wrote it down on a piece of paper. And twenty-two
years from then, the great bridge crossed the river, and twen-sixteen men dropped
off of it and-and drowned in the river. Every time, it's perfect.
55-0626 MY LIFE STORY
And then sometime about a month after that, I was playing marbles out with my little
brothers, out in the front yard. And all at once I had a strange feeling come on
me. And I stopped and set down aside of a tree. And we were right up on the bank
from the Ohio River. And I looked down towards Jeffersonville, and I seen a bridge
rise up and go across that, the river, span the river. And I seen sixteen men (I
counted them) that dropped off of there and lost their lives on that bridge. I run
in real quick and told my mother, and she thought I went to sleep. But they kept
it in mind, and twenty-two years from then the Municipal Bridge now (that many of
you cross when you cross there) crossed the river at the same place, and sixteen
men lost their life building that bridge across the river. It's never failed to
be perfectly true. As you see It here in the auditorium, It's been that way all
59-0419 MY LIFE STORY
Then two-about two weeks from then, I was playing marbles with my brother, and Something
come upon me, and I looked down at the river. And I saw a great bridge span the
river, and I watched sixteen men drop off of it and lose their lives. When It left
me, I ran in to my mother and I told her. "Oh," she said, "honey, you was dreaming."
But I wasn't. But she wrote it down. And twenty-two years from that day, the Municipal
Bridge spanned the river at the same place, and sixteen men lost their life on it.
It just kept coming all the time, like that. Later, I become converted. What all
that He had did-all the-the Holy Spirit has done would make many, many books. So
I'll just have to touch the spots now, that you'd under-so that you'll understand.
60-0210 THE REVELATION THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME
Just even you take this big bridge down here, when I saw it come twenty-two years
before it was put up down there, saw the men lose their lives on it. When they put
the bridge across there and spoke of it. My mother wanted to take me to the doctor,
thought I was having nervous spasms. And I told her; I said, "I seen a bridge go
across, and I counted them men." Twenty-two years after that, the bridge went across,
and the same amount of men lost their lives. I think it was sixteen, exactly. Now,
I thought, when they put those big girders up there, "That bridge will last forever."
Oh, they've painted it three or four times, and it's rusting down right now. What
is it? The rays in the air burned it up.
60-1218 THE UNCERTAIN SOUND
Certain things happened. When I was a little boy He spoke to me, He said, "Don't
never smoke or drink, or defile your body. There's a work for you to do when I get-when
you get older." It's in the book back there. You may read it. And my mother and
them, they thought I was just nervous. And then It went ahead, and two days-three
days after that told how that bridge would cross the river just below our place
now. Sixteen men would lose their life on it. And they wrote it down. And twenty-two
years from then it happened just exactly, and sixteen men lost their life. It's
never been, out of the thousands of things, but what it's been perfectly right.
See? That's right. See, things happen when you're a child, that impresses.
62-0713 FROM THAT TIME
And as a child, about eight years old, seven or eight years old, I was packing water
to a moonshine still that my father owned. And while one warm September afternoon,
sitting down, crying, going fishing out to the pond with the boys, and they... couldn't
go on account of I had to pack this water. I heard like a Whirlwind in the tree,
about half way up. Still, everywhere else, September in Indiana, everything's real
still, dying, quiet. And this Whirlwind in a bush, there come a Voice out of there,
and said, "Never smoke, drink, defile your body (that's run with women), anything
like that, for there's a work for you to do when you get older." And my mother called
the doctor, she thought I was so nervous. A week after that, I seen the Municipal
Bridge, in a trance, as I called it, seen the Municipal Bridge cross the Ohio River,
seen sixteen man lose their life on it. Twenty-two years from that day, the Municipal
Bridge crosses the same place, and sixteen man lost their life in it.
64-0419 THE TRIAL
How could it be so? How could it be so? It looked like it would be impossible. Then
when It spoke, a few days from that, and said. And I begin to see these visions
and things that always happened. It would scare me. My brethren said to me, said,
"That's of the Devil." My Baptist brethren said, "That's of the Devil." I said,
"You know, I'll just be standing, and," I said, "the first thing you know, it'll
go into like a trance, like, or something." I said, "I see things that always happen.
He told me, twenty-two years before that bridge went across there, how far it would
go across, when it would go across, and how many men would lose their lives. And
it was perfectly, every time." And then some of them said, "That's the Devil." And
I got away, and started crying and praying, one night. I said, "Lord Jesus, You
know my heart. I love You. Let me die. Don't let me have any... the Devil to have
anything to do with me. I'd rather die than be a false witness of You." And it was
at that time when this Light returned again and showed me the Scripture, that in
this day this thing is supposed to happen. Here it is laying right here in the Scripture
now. It's been thirty-three years since that time, but I'm a witness that it's the
Truth. I'm a witness of these things that it's Truth.
64-0427 A TRIAL
At the tree, at seven years old, where the Voice spoke to me and said, "Don't never
smoke, chew, or drink, or defile your body." And me in a bootlegger's home, didn't
even know what a Bible was, no more than just a word. We might have been able to
found an almanac, but not a Bible in our house. Nothing but a bunch of... Not talking
against my people, but God knows all about it. There was no way at all, my people
before me, back behind that were Catholic. They had all married away from church
and gone away, and there wasn't no religion at all. We didn't even pay any attention
to it. But He-He told me what was going to happen, that I was to not to smoke, or
drink, or defile my body in any way, there would be a work for me to do when I got
older. Well, it was years and years after that. How did I know I'd be a minister?
I hated the thought of a preacher. But it happened, anyhow. It goes to show He keeps
His Word. Seventeen years after He appeared to me there in a bush... We find out,
next day after that, He showed me a bridge crossing the river, spanning it, showed
sixteen man drop off of it. I told mama. Sitting against a tree, looked at it. She
said, "You went to sleep, honey." I said, "No, I never, mama. I watched it." Exactly
seventeen years from that day, the Municipal Bridge at Jeffersonville spanned over
to Kentucky, and the seventh... And the sixteen man lost their life on it, just exactly
like it said. Ah, so did Mr. Unbeliever has tempted me all along!
64-0621 THE TRIAL
Back To The Basics