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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : The Enigma of William M Branham

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Joined: 2006/6/10
Posts: 668
Northern Rockies, BC, Canada


Re:The Enigma of William W Branham
Thanks for the post Brother Greg...
i myself have come across some articles written on this man. He seems to be highly esteemed in the penecostal/later-rain movements.
I also like some of Robert's insights:


I think as I read this account I am taken by the fact that sometimes God will reveal things to people or use them in a certain way and in time they begin to take on an spiritual superiority complex. The enemy then steps in with deception. This is why the OT prophets were VERY versed in the scriptures. The enemy is always twisting the word and we must never think the 'gifts' of the Spirit or some thing God has done to reveal Himself, somehow elevates us beyond our need for sound doctrine.

One article on Branham is at
I strongly believe that it is foolish to be hold a bias opinion of one without having all of the facts, to only judge with righteous judgement which is truly of the Lord, and not judge unrighteously which is of the flesh and devil.
Another article that discusses some of the influence that Branham helped spread here in Canada is documented here:
[url=][/url]Let us cleave to God at this time dear brothers and sisters, continually being aware of the craftiness of the serpent and the pride of life. There is only One Way to eternal life...If this Way isnot enough for some of you, I pray that God will bring you to that place of faith that is required of the elect - and even this is a gift of God lest any man should boast.
May He be our desire,


 2006/8/4 22:04Profile

Joined: 2006/6/28
Posts: 3405
Dallas, Texas


This was the proplem and he would not have been a false prophet or teacher by any means if he just ministered in the areas that God willed for Him.

This merely signifies that Branham was out of the will of God; I think that being labeled a false prophet is an altogether different thing. Was Branham a minister of Satan? That's what being a false prophet implies. False prophets are purposefully wicked men, they are wolves in sheep's clothing. They knowingly speak lies, having not heard from God. They have an agenda. The difference with Branham, is I believe he worked for God and dearly loved Jesus Christ - but along the way he got puffed up with pride and fell into the sin of disobedience. It can happen (and did happen) to God's choicest. What made Branham's fall so cataclysmic was that he was in the star-studded limelight of miracle Christianity. If ministering out of the will of God qualifies one to be a deceiver and a false minister, then I venture to say many of us are false ministers! I know I may have preached messages in the past that God did not specifically call me to preach at that moment. Because of this, am I to be labeled a "false preacher" before thousands and thousands of people in a public forum? No, it simply means I was out of the will of God at that moment. Now, if Branham stopped believing in hell and started putting out false prophecies of the world being destroyed on a certain date...okay, this is very serious. This is the stuff that fueled Russell's theology and Joseph Smith's "visions" (who are TRUE false prophets, along with Jim Jones, David Koresh, Moon, Baker-Eddy, Swedenborg, Herbert Armstrong, etc.), and I am prepared to own these judgments before Jesus Christ when the fire will be put to those statements.

But if Branham was merely out of the will of God, we should be careful. We've all been out of the will of God at one time or another. It's very unfortunate that this mighty man of God sinned (like David when he conducted the military census) and God had to kill him. Or when King Uzziah took the priests' incense. Or when Saul didn't wait for Samuel and offered the sacrifice himself. Notice that after this, David didn't dare call Saul a "false king". May we all learn from Branham's and Saul's demise! To obey is better than sacrifice.

With love in Jesus Christ,

Brother Paul

Paul Frederick West

 2006/8/4 22:47Profile

Joined: 2006/1/8
Posts: 58


Thank you, Paul, for your loving exhortation. I couldn't agree with you more on your earlier post on this thread, and you said it eloquently and in the right spirit!

I frankly stay away from many of the forums because of the pharasaic condemnation of any and every preacher or stream that does not pefectly align with the readers' view.

The first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord our God with our whole being and the command to love our neighbor as ourselves, is the 2nd. How can we become so deluded into thinking we are doing God a service by slandering those who have been called by His name and have preached the Gospel and have done the the works they were called to do to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth?? God save us from ourselves. Jesus called us to unity and oneness. Instead of the church being united against the forces of darkness, we're arrayed against one another!! There's some thing so dramatically wrong with this picture and so diametrically opposed to the Spirit of Christ.

Paul said to the Romans that we are to "judge nothing before the time" and "to his own master each man will stand or fall, and STAND HE WILL!!"

The Word says that "knowledge puffeth up". I have found so many scholars on SI who are so "learned", but when they write, I sense no love, no compassion, only prideful ego and arragance because of all the knowledge they have amassed. Doesn't the Scriptures say that all of our knowledge without love is NOTHING?!?

Are we not called to LOVE...which covers a multitude of sins? Love edfies...may the Spirit convict us to love those who name the name of Christ and if they are in clear error, (i.e. those who have blatantly departed from the TRUTH of the Word (and not our doctrinal differences) to lovingly pray for them...not slander them!

Bless you, brothers and sisters who have a heart to obey the first commandment!

 2006/8/5 14:36Profile

Joined: 2006/7/10
Posts: 94
Davao, Philippines



PaulWest wrote:

I'm so tired of hearing and seeing this label being applied to everyone from Finney to Parham to Dave Wilkerson to Billy Graham to George Jeffreys. We label men "false Prophets" and "false evangelists" almost as haphazardly as we call them Christians. If someone messes up, this does not make them a "false prophet"; If a man who loves the Lord falls into sin, this does not make him a "deceiver". Peter used profanity and denied the Lord - if this were to happen today while Peter was in the Christian limelight, nobody would take any of his subsequent epistles seriously. Had David committed adultery and murdered today, nobody would take Psalm 51 seriously - or anything else he wrote, for that matter. Some of us would even slander Peter and David here on SI.

I'm so tired of the loose judgments. If we don't understand a person's ministry, or if we don't agree with it, we simply call them "deceived" and heretics. There are many websites that say that Finney was a heretic and a deceiver. But then the same website will lavish praise on Ravenhill who spoke very highly of Finney!

We see things through a glass, darkly. We know only in part. We should pray for wisdom. God has lately been showing me the fallacy of casting disparaging statements and trampling the names of men He once used. The truth is, God uses men [i]I don't agree with and who have just as many faults as I have.[/i] I don't agree with Spurgeon's five-point Calvanism, and I have some very strong things to say about 98% of the Charismatic guys on TV. I know they're wrong on many points, but I also acknowledge that God can use them. I will not get on SI and slander them under the guise of "warning the flock." There is a difference between slandering, and simply choosing not to fellowship with them (which I do).

God has appointed a day in which he will clean up all this mess. But until that day, [i]we know things only in part, and we see through a glass, darkly.[/i] (1 cor. 13:12)

Brothers and sisters, let's not say anything we'll be ashamed of at the judgment. What if you see Branham and Finney crowned by Jehovah, and knew your turn was coming up, and that all the ruinous things you said and wrote about them were about to come into the light? Remember, you told everyone that they weren't of God! That they were false prophets and evangelists! You broadcasted it to thousands and thousands on SI! How ashamed you would be! Even David, knowing that Saul was wrong, did not dare lift a finger against him or speak evil of his name. May we exercise similar wisdom when it comes to brothers and sisters we don't agree with. Rebuke in private, do it the way Jesus Christ taught us. But please, don't come on a public forum and say so-and-so is a false prophet - unless you know for sure and are willing to eat those words at the judgment.

Do you realize how many people think that Art Katz is deluded? Or that the Azusa Street Revival was a "false revival" having never been there? Do you know how many people have told me that Arminianism is a heresy? It's funny how God used Wesley, since God doesn't use heretics to shake the world for Jesus Christ and establish and infuence tremendous, Spirit-honoring organizations like the Methodist church and the Salvation Army. Do you know how many preachers thought Wesley to be a false preacher? And Booth? And Whitefield? I've read reports that Dave Wilkerson is a "false prophet" who blends metaphysics into his preaching. I've also read that Ray Comfort is a "false evangelist" for one reason or another. Smith Wigglesworth? Forget it; he was the devil himself, doing false signs and wonders whilst spreading the Pentecostal heresy of Holy Ghost baptism by speaking in tongues. Charles Stanley can't be trusted because he went through a divorce. And the list goes on and on. Any minister you can think of. If Branham messed up, he messed up. God will judge him and give back to him accordingly. But I'm not so quick to call the man a "false prophet" on a public forum. I fear the judgment!

For I see things only in part.

Brother Paul

Yes I agree, great post.


 2006/8/5 20:06Profile

Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA


To put a just a twist on all of this...

Seems there can be confounding of the issues in these sort of things. To malign someones character and to point out where a teaching is off are not simultaneous necessities. In fact the former really has no place in our thinking, strange that often this is the case, the starting point and unraveling from that point.

Andrew Storms article did bring out the aspect of an "enigma";

ENIG'MA,[/b] n. [L. oenigma; Gr. to hint.] A dark saying, in which some known thing is concealed under obscure language; an obscure question; a riddle. A question, saying or painting, containing a hidden meaning, which is proposed to be guessed.

Or if I am understanding it as it was approached, more of a perplexity. Having said that, do find a problem with these things being couched in a sort of [i]this is what God has done because of ...[/i] manner. That is an impossibility to know and only adds confusion to the matter at hand.

There is another thread on the matter of judging elsewhere here and rather than retread the same territory this does present another angle.

It seems there can be as much a problem with making a curt statement that;

I frankly stay away from many of the forums because of the pharasaic condemnation of any and every preacher or stream that does not pefectly align with the readers' view.

The Word says that "knowledge puffeth up". I have found so many scholars on SI who are so "learned", but when they write, I sense no love, no compassion, only prideful ego and arragance because of all the knowledge they have amassed. Doesn't the Scriptures say that all of our knowledge without love is NOTHING?!?

... if one has never entered into the discussions here before (Welcome to SI!) Perhaps you have been watching from afar, hard to know one way or the other and not to single you out, there is indeed often this very thing you spoke of but would say it is the exception rather than the rule.

The whole point here is one of being honest regardless. To dismiss everything under the banner of false prophet is far too easy and questionable to motives as is if the opposite 'side' here has actually read up on any of the things he taught, which would be the point of contention, not the man as a person.

Some perusing around and looking at the things he believed and taught, the 'visions' he believed he received and conveyed to his hearers, his prophecies and so forth are quite problematic.

"[i]Play the ball, not the man"[/i]

Mike Balog

 2006/8/5 23:12Profile

Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


hi, did you know that bro.ravenhill ministered with bro. branham? jimp

 2006/8/6 3:50Profile

Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia


That is interesting. Are there any sermons where Bro Len mentions him?

I can't seem to get Branham's ministry, that would be the part he was obediant in, off my mind. Very encouraging, and carries a warning, I suppose, as well.

Hal Bachman

 2006/8/6 16:06Profile

Joined: 2005/6/18
Posts: 1481


hi, he told me a story of when he was with him and bro branham asked for three people who really needed healing to come forth. the first, a lady was asked by bro branham if God healed her would she stop having sex out of wedlock with the man on the end of her row.he told them that God is no longer going to heal them if they continue in sin. when he turned back around all three were gone. jimp

 2006/8/7 2:55Profile

Joined: 2006/7/10
Posts: 94
Davao, Philippines


lol....he read their mail. I guess their pride was more inportant than their healing.


 2006/8/7 6:07Profile

Joined: 2006/3/20
Posts: 235
fredericksburg, Virginia


Here is the article and link to a biographical article on his life. Watchman fellowship is a trusted ministry:

Branhamism/William Branham
By Phillip Arnn

Founder: William Marrion Branham

Founding Date: Branham's Healing Ministry began May, 1946.

Official Publications: The Voice of God Recordings, Inc. (formerly Spoken Word Publications), produces numerous books, tapes and tracts - mostly the messages of Branham.

Organization Structure: The William Branham Evangelistic Association; Branham Tabernacle; The Voice of God Recordings, Inc. About 100 small groups meet worldwide, but there is no official association of churches.

Unique Terms: Laodicean Church Age, Seventh Angel's message, Mark of the Beast.

William Marrion Branham was born April 6, 1909 in the mountains of Kentucky. He was the first of nine children. His father was a logger and their first home was a dirt floor log cabin. Branham was told by his mother that his birth was accompanied by a supernatural sign. He was born in the predawn morning. He was told that when the small window of the cabin was opened, that a light stood in the opening. (Brother Branham, taped sermon transcript, p. 21).

Branham's life was intersected and influenced by numerous visions and angelic visitations. He recalled that at age seven, he heard a voice, "Well, I started up the lane again. And I turned to look at this again. And when it did, a human Voice just as audible as mine is, said, `Don't you never drink, smoke, or defile your body in any way. There'll be a work for you to do when you get older.' Why, it liked to scared me to death!" (Ibid., p. 24). Branham recounted other audible communications and visions that imparted to him specific information concerning future events which later came to pass.

Branham was converted around the age of twenty and married Hope Brumbach. His conversion was a result of a series of visions occurring during and after a life threatening illness (Acts of the Prophet, pp. 40-43).

In his early ministry, he came in contact with "Jesus-Only" Pentecostals. This sect broke away from the traditional Pentecostal movement denying the doctrine of the Trinity. He attended one of their national conventions and was invited to preach. A number of their ministers invited him to conduct revivals in their churches. He returned home and informed his wife, "Oh, I met the cream of the crop. It's the best you ever seen. Them people ain't ashamed of their religion" (Brother Branham, p. 39). Although he was persuaded not to continue the association by family and fellow ministers, Branham was greatly influenced by the "Jesus-Only" Pentecostal movement. He later adopted a number of their doctrinal views.

Branham's wife and baby daughter died in 1937 from Tubercular Meningitis. He felt that it was because he had not continued in fellowship with the Pentecostals and had missed God's will (Ibid., p. 47).

In 1946, Branham received what he came to call his "charge" from the recurrent audible voice. While baptizing converts in the Ohio River, he claims it happened. "And just then a whirl come from the heavens above, and here come that Light, shining down.... and It hung right over where I was at. A Voice spoke from there, and said, `As John the Baptist was sent for the forerunner of the first coming of < A HREF="../cat95.htm#Christ">Christ, you've got a... have a Message that will bring forth the forerunner of the Second Coming of Christ'" (Ibid., p. 71).

Not long after the commission as the forerunner of the second coming of Christ, Branham was visited by an angel. He was told that he was being given two ministry gifts. He would receive the gift of healing and the gift of the "word of knowledge." Branham came to believe that this angel was the source of all his visions. Branham inquired of the angel why he should believe he was an angel of God. The angel told him that the religious leaders of Christ's day had called Jesus a devil. He should not worry about the opposition from family and fellow ministers. Branham had been told by fortune-tellers in impromptu meetings that he had a special gift of God and was born under a sign. The angel assured him that even devils had confirmed that Jesus was the Christ and not to be concerned by the testimony of fortune-tellers (Ibid., pp. 74, 75, 79).

The next Sunday Branham's first challenge, a woman dying with cancer, was brought before him. Just as the angel had said, he had a vision and prayed for the woman. She was healed. His fame spread far and wide (Ibid., p. 80). From that time forward, Branham claimed the angel was with him night and day. He stated that he was unable to minister unless the angel was at his side (Occult Bondage and Deliverance, pp. 49, 50).

Branham was a poorly educated man and had no formal Bible education. His ministry was proclaimed with alleged supernatural manifestations and empowered by a spirit being.

TRINITY: Like the "Jesus-Only" Pentecostals Branham denied the Trinity doctrine teaching a form of Modalism. Instead of three Persons in the Godhead, Branham taught that there was only one Person (Jesus) going under different titles or modes at various times in history. Branham's teaching is a variation of a second century heresy taught by Sabellius know as Modalistic Monarchianism or Patripassianism (see Monarchianism, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, pp. 727-28). Branham explained, "...not one place in the Bible is trinity ever mentioned...It's Catholic error and you Protestants bow to it" (Conduct, Order, Doctrine Q and A, p. 182). "Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is offices of one God. He was the Father; He was the Son; He is the Holy Ghost. It's three offices or three dispensations,..." (Ibid., p. 392). This view of the Godhead is called Modalism and has been held to be heretical by both Catholic and Protestant churches.

BAPTISM: Branham claimed that proper baptism was needed to avoid the "Mark of the Beast" of denominational churches and escape the danger of missing the rapture and entering the Tribulation. Proper baptism must be in the name of Jesus only. Baptism with the Trinitarian formula of Matthew 28:18 ("in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost") is unacceptable to God.

Branham explained, "There never was a person baptized in the name of `Father, Son, Holy Ghost' until early Catholic church" (Ibid., p. 178). "Look down on your Bible and see if that says `in the names of...' Does it? No, sir... It said, `in the NAME...'" Branham attempted to explain the distinction, "You see, you misunderstand it then. It's one God in three dispensations.... And when He said, `Go baptize them in the Name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit,' it was Jesus Christ. And that's why we baptize in Jesus' Name" (Ibid., pp. 181, 184).

If an incorrect formula was spoken during baptism, Branham felt the convert would go into darkness. "But a tritheist, triune baptism was never recognized in the Church, the New Testament... Now you know what to do, that's right; and if you refuse to walk in Light when Light's brought forth, you turn to darkness. Right! Amen!" (Ibid., p. 190).

Other Doctrines
1) Serpent's Seed: Branham taught that Eve's sin in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) was sexual in nature. According to Branham, Eve was seduced into a sexual relationship with the serpent and became pregnant with Cain. He explained, "Here is what actually happened in the Garden of Eden. The Word says that Eve was beguiled by the serpent. She was actually seduced by the serpent. He was as close to being a human that his seed could, and did mingle with that of the woman and cause her to conceive" (The Original Sin, pp. 2, 3). The serpent's seed was Cain and all his descendants. They are predestined for Hell. The Godly seed is Seth and his descendants who have been revealed by their call to Branham's ministry. A third group, represented by those still in denominational churches have free will to choose Heaven or Hell. The Godly seed are the Bride of Christ and will be raptured before Tribulation. Denominations are or eventually will be the Mark of the Beast and those who remain therein will go through the Tribulation. (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, p. 96).

2) Last Days Prophet: Branham's followers claim that he held a special role as God's uniquely empowered end-time prophet. "Now, I'm just your brother, by the grace of God. But when the Angel of the Lord moves down, it becomes then a Voice of God to you...But I am God's Voice to you... Now, see, I can say nothing in myself. But what He shows me" (Footprints On The Sands Of Time, p. 214). The angelic visitor told Branham that he would be given two gifts and that he would restore Bible truth.

Branham's followers identified him as the prophetic Elijah of Malachi 4 and the seventh angel of Revelation 10. Speaking of himself, Branham said, "...we are promised a return of that Spirit [Elijah] just before the end-time. He won't start another church, because there is no more church ages to come... because the Laodicea Church Age is the last age, and the messenger of the Seventh Angel,... is the fellow that is going to reveal, by the Holy Spirit, all of these mysterious things.... Notice. This last message of the last church age is not a reformer, he is a PROPHET!" (The Seven Seals, pp. 144, 45).

According to his disciples, Branham is not just a prophet but a major prophet. "A MAN SENT FROM GOD. That the ministry of William Branham qualifies to be that of a major prophet and thus fulfill Malachi 4, 5 and 6 and Revelation 10:7 should become abundantly clear to any who take time to conduct even a brief investigation..." (The Message, Bible Believers, Inc., p. 7).

1) The Trinity doctrine cannot be fully comprehended by finite man. However, any other view of the Godhead will not satisfy God's self revelation in Scripture. Modalism teaches that there is only one Person in the Godhead functioning through relational "modes." When He is in the Father mode, the Son and Spirit modes are not functional. In Matthew 3:13-17, however, the Son is baptized, the Spirit descends and the Father speaks. Also, "in the name of" (Matthew 28:19) or in the authority of does not limit the nature of God's unity to one Person but connotes equality of essence within the Godhead (2 Corinthians 13:14).

2) Baptism in the name of Jesus only may have been the early practice in the Jerusalem church. However, all manuscripts of Matthew 28:19 have the Trinitarian formula as being commissioned by Jesus. One document, dating from A.D. 60, the Didache, prescribes the Matthew formula (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) for baptism within the church. Regardless of the formula, baptism is not a requirement for being raptured or avoiding the Tribulation. Full salvation is by grace though faith and not of works such as baptism (Ephesians 2:8-9).

3) The Serpent's Seed doctrine is an improper interpretation of Genesis 3 that is allegorical and arbitrary. Eve's sin was not sexual. She partook of literal fruit from a literal tree. Adam also partook of the same fruit as Eve (Genesis 3:6). This is not a reference to sexual sin. The Serpent's Seed doctrine artificially limits the atonement by race or genetics. While it is true that most of humanity will not benefit from the sacrificial death of Christ (Matthew 7:13-14), Jesus died for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). Christ's atonement is not limited to a certain family or race of people.

The Serpent's Seed doctrine did not originate with Branham. Branham's version of the doctrine parallels the racist views of some groups within the Identity movement and the speculative philosophies of Sun Myung Moon.

4) In light of claims that Branham was God's end-time prophet, it is significant that he falsely predicted that America would be destroyed in 1977 (The Seven Church Ages, p. 322). Branham was guilty of false prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). While he tried to call it a prediction rather than a prophecy (without explaining the difference), he firmly stressed that the 1977 date was based on his thirty year study of the Bible and "Divine inspiration." Branham's ministry and claims were supported by alleged supernatural verification. Signs and wonders, however, are not infallible proofs. Many conflicting sects and ideologies boast similar subjective "proofs" (2 Thessalonians 2:9, Matthew 12:39, 24:24, Hebrews 1:1, I John 4:1-3).

1) Oneness Pentecostals & The Trinity. Gregory A. Boyd. This work focuses on the movement which greatly influenced William Branham. The issues of Modalism, the One Name, baptismal regeneration and others are examined. 234 pages. $12.

2) God In Three Persons. E. Calvin Beisner. Beisner examines the historic roots of and biblical evidences for the Trinity doctrine. Included in Beisner's work is a refutation of Modalism. 160 pages. $9.

Matt Kroelinger

 2006/8/7 14:10Profile

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