Step 2: The Easy Questions
When you first stumble onto your first discrepancy in either the doctrines, prophecies,
or life stories of William Branham
, it can be overwhelming. One false statement
exposes another, and another after that. Very soon, you find yourself digging through
mounds of information to find very little that is not fiction.
Sadly, there are many who start digging only to find themselves consumed with questions
that have no answers, and they quickly return to their former state in a worse condition
than when they started. Without a clear plan of action, these people are not willing
to dedicate the time to untangle the mess that is lies beneath.
It's best to start with the easy questions. We've lined up the topics that are easily
proven fiction by Scriptural truth, historical fact, and Branham's own words. As
you gradually start to untangle the truth for yourself, the easy questions will
give you breadcrumbs to follow as you dig deeper into the deceptive teachings and
fictional stories. For example, when you listen to a man claiming all other men
are going to hell for wearing shorts, it's very easy to identify the false doctrine
when you catch the man wearing the shorts himself.
Most people start digging by researching everything William Branham said about the
"mystery cloud" which is a fundamental element to the cult following of William Branham.
This cloud was a significant event, according to William Branham. It was a visible
sign that he had been involved in a visitation with seven angels. The doctrines
he claimed had been given to him directly from angelic beings are the foundational
teaching that place him into authority as the "seventh angel messenger." To find
that Branham was not in the state of Arizona when the cloud floated across the horizon
is quite shocking to followers of his ministry.
God is all-knowing. He is the beginning, the present, and he He is the end.
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, then 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.
The "bridge prophecy" is a perfect example of this. For years, this prophecy went
untested. The followers of Branham that lived outside of the local area assumed
that the followers in Jeffersonville had found this prophecy to be true, while the
followers of Jeffersonville assumed that Branham was telling the truth. It is evident
that this prophecy did not come to pass exactly as Branham claimed.
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). But does God place the honor of a "prophet" above the salvation of countless millions of people?
The Church Ages
William Branham taught that the Seven Churches of Asia Minor found in the book of Revelation were symbolic of seven church "ages," starting with the time of the Apostle Paul and ending with himself as the "messenger" for the "age." According to Branham, he was given divine revelation as to these "ages", dates, and "messengers," and followers of Branham's ministry believe this doctrine to be scriptural truth.
What they do not know is that Branham's timeline for the "church ages" seems to be identical to the drawings of Clarence Larkin in his work entitled Dispensational Truth. The same dates that Larkin used for his drawings are used in Branham's teaching, with the exception of the last "age," which Branham pointed to himself. And while Larkin did not list "messengers" for each age, Branham chose messengers to align with
Grips of Fear
William Branham told many stories of the awesome power of God that offered him protection,
and from the surface, it seems to be just that. God loves and cares for His own.
But when you examine these tales in chronological order, details are added that
give the story a slight adjustment in purpose. Over time the stories change from
amazement in God's mighty power to amazement to any who would question Branham's
authority. The best example of this is the "Man from Windsor," who suffered several
different tragedies for pretending to enter Branham's prayer line without actually
having the diseases written on the back of his "prayer card."
The Tragedy of Donnie Morton
When you become brave enough to question the healing ministry of William Branham,
one name comes up in response: Donnie Morton. William Branham claimed to have had
a vision of the healing of Donnie Morton when he told Arthur Morton that his son
would live. Though father's faith was steadfast, Reader's Digest describes how the
boy breathed his last breath during complications from meningitis and pneumonia.
He died of Meningitis Serosa Traumatica, the same disease that caused his father
to seek out the faith healer.
In 1933, William Branham toured the World's Fair Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. This fair
provided visitors with a glimpse into the future, walking patrons through the latest technologies, prototypes, and future direction.
One of the exhibits in this fair was the Lincoln Zephyr, which seems to be the foundation for a prophecy that Branham would claim years later.
California - Still Standing
In 1965, William Branham prophesied that Los Angeles would sink to the bottom of
the sea. According to the prophecy, Los Angeles would fall beneath the ocean just
as Capernaum fell underneath the sea, and this event would take place before Branham's
eldest son, Billy Paul Branham, was an "old man."
But there are three major issues: Capernaum has never been underneath the sea; Billy Paul has passed the normal male life expectancy
for the time that the alleged prophecy was given, and California still stands firmly as evidence that this prophecy was not from God.
The Twisted Scripture
Some might argue that regardless of his failed prophecy and fictional life stories, William Branham's objective was to bring the hearts and minds of the people
back to the original faith of the fathers. He would often make statements describing "No creed but Christ; no law but love; no Book but the Bible." However
when you examine his teaching of scripture we find subtle differences in context.
Step 3: Dig A Little Deeper