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RESOURCES: ARTICLES & REVIEWS: "Is Brother Branham Your Absolute?"

 

(Download the pdf version of this tract here.)

If you are in this Message, we have five questions for you.

Are you in a Message Church or Believers Church, following the Word of the Hour, the last days message for the Laodicean Church Age, as delivered by Brother William M. Branham?

For people in these churches, Brother Branham is more than a prophet—they believe he is Elijah, sent to fulfill Malachi 4:5 to "turn the hearts of the children to the fathers," the Angel and Prophet-Messenger to our day, a man sent by God to prepare the Bride of Christ for the Rapture.


[1] Did William Branham make mistakes?

Did William Branham make mistakes or errors in his teaching? We are not talking about mistakes that he later corrected, but mistakes he never corrected. Consider these examples:

  • William Branham said that unborn children in the womb are not alive. "You say, 'Oh, it's alive!' No, it isn't! That's little nerves jerking, muscles. See? The baby hasn't received life till it's born. And you may jump and jerk, but you're not...See, see? You've got to be born."1 The truth is this: If an unborn baby is not alive, it is dead and will cause a miscarriage.
  • William Branham believed day and night are caused by the sun circling the earth. Commenting on the famous "long day" of Joshua, he said, "I believe the hour will come when they'll actually find out that the world don't even run [rotate]. I believe that with all my heart.... I don't believe the sun does what they say it does." 2 The truth is this: The earth revolves around the sun (causing annual seasons) and it also rotates on its own axis (causing day and night). The sun does not revolve around the earth.
  • William Branham taught that people in the days of Noah had nuclear bombs with destructive powers greater than today.3 He said they had "great scientists, far beyond what we have today, greater science....And they had powers that was beyond anything that we've got, unless it is the atomic. They had it harnessed."4 The truth is this: The ancient world of Noah's day did not "harness" nuclear energy or know anything about nuclear bombs.
  • Based on the words of Genesis 2:21 that God used a rib from Adam to create Eve, Branham claimed that today "a man has one less rib than a woman in the structure of the—the body."5 The truth is this: Men and women have an equal number of ribs (12 pairs), and the Bible never taught that an unequal number of ribs continued in Adam and Eve's descendants.
  • Branham was convinced that the Germans built the Maginot Line, which he believed was a large defensive wall of concrete within Germany.6 "And in 1933 when the Lord... the vision of the Lord came to me up here and predicted that, Germany would rise up and have put that Maginot Line there. Many of you remember."7 The truth is this: The Maginot Line was built by the French, well within the French borders in 1930. The Germans build the Hindenburg Line in 1917, which was later reinforced as the Siegfried Line during World War II.

As a Message believer, can you admit that William Branham made errors in his teaching?

[2] Did William Branham contradict himself?

Are you aware that Brother Branham often changed his personal testimony or contradicted his own teaching?

  • When telling how the Angel of the Lord came to him in May 1946, sometimes he said the visitation occurred in a ranger's cabin, and other times he said it was in a cave. In William Branham: A Man Sent From God and in "How the Angel Came to Me and His Commission" (1955-01-17), he said the Angel met him in a ranger's cabin. In The Acts of the Prophet, you'll discover that he really met the Angel in a cave.8 Though you may think Brother Branham had a good reason for hiding the location, he still misled people regarding where the visitation occurred.
  • When telling how his beloved wife Hope died, Brother Branham gave five different names to the nurse Hope spoke to. Remember where he says, "A little nurse was standing near by, and she [Hope] said to her, 'I hope you might have as good a husband as I have had.' Of course, that almost tore my heart out, but I knew I had to hold up for her sake." Those are the exact words in William Branham, A Man Sent From God (p. 61).

    Brother Branham sometimes mentioned the name of the nurse. He said her name was Evelyn.9 The next year he said it was Hilda.10 The year after that she was Juanita.11 In 1951, her name was Miss Cook12, but in 1952 it was Louise Hale.13 Each time he gave her name, he said that she was Hope's friend or that they both knew her well. It would be okay if he just said, "I don't remember the name of the nurse." But it is sad to realize that he just couldn't be honest, at the very point we think he is being most vulnerable.
  • Ever wonder how many people were baptized when William Branham was baptizing the 17th person in the river off of Spring Street in 1933? Sometimes the number is 13014 or "two or three hundred"15 or "five hundred"16 or "around a thousand."17 The number of converts he baptized increased as he grew older.
  • He contradicted himself on the Mark of the Beast. Revelation 13:16 says the beast will cause everyone to receive "a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads," but Branham did not interpret this verse literally. He usually said the Mark of the Beast was denominationalism18, but he also said it was "being without the Holy Ghost"19, Romanism20, the Roman hierarchy21, the World Council of Churches22, or "to do the will of the world church."23 What this has to do with worldwide control of buying or selling (Rev. 13:17) was never explained.
  • He contradicted himself on the Book of Life. Sometimes he said the "book of life" is the same as the "Lamb's book of life"24 and other times he said they were two different books.25

[3] Did William Branham ever teach anything unscriptural?

Many people believe Brother Branham was sent to correct the church, and everything he said was 100% in agreement with the Bible. So it is not improper for us to search the Scriptures, like the noble Bereans, to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11).

  • Eight times he said that Noah watched Enoch, and the year Enoch was translated, Noah started building the ark.26 According to the Bible, Enoch was translated 69 years before Noah was born (see Genesis 5:21-29). From the birth of Enoch to the birth of Noah was 424 years, but Enoch was translated at the age of 365. Unfortunately, Brother Branham declared "Thus Saith the Lord" on this mistake in 1962.
  • William Branham claimed that during Jesus' earthly ministry, "He never said He was the Son of God; He said He was the Son of man. Now, today, He is the Son of God, which He returned back, and now He is in the form of the Holy Ghost..."27 In reality, Jesus did say He was the Son of God. He said directly, "I am the Son of God" (John 10:36). The most famous verse in history, John 3:16 ("God... gave His only-begotten Son"), was spoken by Jesus. The Lord Jesus told the blind man He was the Son of God (John 9:37), told His disciples Lazarus had died "that the Son of God might be glorified" (John 11:4), and answered yes when the Sanhedrin asked Him point blank, "Art thou then the Son of God?" (Luke 22:70).
  • William Branham said that Mary was not Jesus' mother. " 'Woman,' He called her, never mother. She wasn't His mother. It was the Son of God, and God is One. Get it?"28 And in 1964 he again claimed, "She [Mary] was just a carrier, not His mother, not God."29
  • However, the Bible teaches the truth: "When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph..." (Matt 1:18). The wise men "saw the young child with Mary his mother" (Matt 2:11). The angel of the Lord told Joseph, "Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt" (Matt 2:13). Aged Simeon met Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus, "And Simeon blessed them and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel" (Luke 2:34). Mary was not God, but according to Scripture, she was Jesus' mother.
  • William Branham claimed that a wife cutting her hair is biblical grounds for divorce. He focused on women cutting their hair many times, stressing that it is grounds for divorce, but never directly quoted the Bible. This is as close as he came: "... you Pentecostal women are getting just as rotten as the rest of them (That's right), chopping off your hair. And the Bible said, 'Any woman that cuts her hair, her husband has the right to give her divorce and leave her.' First Corinthians, the 11th chapter, see if that's not right. She even dishonors her husband."30
  • This is a grave misreading of the chapter. In 1 Cor. 11:5 Paul says that if a married woman "prays or prophesies with her head uncovered, she dishonors her head" (i.e., her husband). Paul is supporting the Greek custom of husbands praying bareheaded, while wives pray while wearing hats or head coverings.31 And if she is willing to pray without a head covering (causing shame to him), then she ought to cut off her own hair as well (thus causing shame to herself). Conversely, if she is unwilling to embarrass herself by shaving her head, then she should also be unwilling to embarrass her husband by praying without a head covering, acting as if she were a single woman. Nothing is mentioned about divorce in this chapter!
  • Mr. Branham said that "God always deals with one individual....There never was two major prophets on the earth prophesying at the same time. Look back and see if there was. No sir!"32 This is totally unscriptural, because the Bible doesn't distinguish "major prophets" from other prophets (this is a modern invention), and several biblical prophets prophesied at the same time. Ezekiel and Daniel both prophesied between 593 and 570 BC. Hosea, Amos, and Jonah all prophesied between 755 and 750 BC. Haggai and Zechariah prophesied to the people of Judah at the same time (see Ezra 5:1). In the New Testament, God will send "My two witnesses" to prophesy at the same time (Rev. 11:1-14). So Mr. Branham's claim is contradicted in both the Old Testament and the New.

[4] Did every vision or prophecy come to pass?

Message believers are told that every vision and "thus saith the Lord" always came to pass. But this simply not true, as these examples will show.

  • Brother Branham said Los Angeles would slide into the ocean, and it would be soon. "I remember just my last message in California where I thought I'd never go back again, when I predicted Los Angeles will go beneath the ocean. And THUS SAITH THE LORD, it will."33 He told Billy Paul in downtown Los Angeles on April 29, 1965, "Billy, I may not be here, but you won't be an old man until sharks will swim right here where we are standing."34 Billy Paul (born Sept. 13, 1935) is now about 75 years old, so this vision has failed.
  • Some may object that God can suspend judgment if we repent, as in the case of Nineveh. Ezekiel chapters 18 and 33 teach that God may withhold punishment if people turn to Him in repentance and righteousness. Maybe the people of Los Angeles or California repented, diverting God's wrath? That might be possible with an ordinary prophecy. However, Brother Branham stated unequivocally that America turned down her last chance to repent on January 16, 1956.35 If anything, America is far more sinful and apostate now than in 1965.
  • In October 1962, Brother Branham said U.S. actress Marilyn Monroe died of a heart attack. He said, "I saw a vision. And it was a—a lovely, pretty woman.... And the Angel of the Lord said, 'Now, when you hear this, remember, they're going to say that she committed suicide, but she died in a heart attack."36 Branham said sleeping pills were not the cause. He said, "It doesn't make any difference how much I say it, they're still going to say she committed suicide. But the child did not, she had a heart attack!" Did medical science confirm the Angel's words?
  • Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her bed on August 5, 1962, by her housekeeper. There are several theories about who was responsible: deliberate suicide, accidental overdose by herself or by her live-in housekeeper, murder by U.S. government agents, or murder by organized crime. However, there is no doubt about the cause of her death: Monroe died of "acute barbiturate poisoning" caused by an overdose of Nembutal (38-66 capsules) and chloral hydrate (14-23 capsules), which should never be combined in normal doses. The drug overdose was enough to kill ten people. Marilyn Monroe did not die of a heart attack at the age of 36.
  • Brother Branham said he had a vision in 1933 of driverless cars shaped just like an egg. The idea of driverless cars running on automatic pilot was predicted by Popular Mechanics magazine in the 1950s (when Branham recorded his sermons), but it is not a reality even for the most advanced cultures today, nor will it be a reality in the next decade. As for the "egg shape," the shape of car bodies varies according to customer purchases and preferences, not according to aerodynamics. The egg shape is ideal for the womb of a chicken, but is terrible for providing passenger head room, leg room, or cargo space in a motor vehicle.
  • In the same vision, Brother Branham said he saw a cruel woman running the United States, which he thought might be the Catholic church. He said this vision came to pass when John F. Kennedy was elected (1960), supposedly controlled by his wife Jackie Kennedy. He said, "now she's on the throne. Sure! The White House Throne.... Jezebel took everything. She wiped it all up, and she'll do it again. That's THUS SAITH GOD's HOLY BIBLE, 'She'll do it again.' She's right on the throne right now, behind the figurehead [President Kennedy]; twisting it any way she wants to, nobody's going to stop her. Certainly, nobody's going to stop her now..."37
  • This vision was false at the time, and it permanently failed when Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. Jacqueline Kennedy never ran the United States, and never controlled laws or public policy during or after her husband's death. This "thus saith the Lord" did not come to pass.

Brother Branham's famous "tent vision" failed. This will be discussed at length in the next section.

[5] Is Brother Branham your Absolute?

Our concern for Message believers is that Brother Branham is treated as the final answer to all questions, the standard for interpreting the Bible, the absolute authority that is never wrong.

Though Branham preached against Catholicism, he became the very thing he preached against: a source of new revelation outside of Scripture (like serpent seed) and supposedly infallible when speaking ex cathedra. What Mary is to the Catholics, Branham is to the Message: You must go through the Mediator to reach Jesus. And just as the Pope claims to be the spiritual leader of all true Christians, Branham took the same role. In the Church Ages book, it says the true evidence of having the Holy Spirit is to recognize Branham as the voice of God. Make no mistake, Branham said he was the one and only prophet for the last days.

In the last years of his life, nobody could be his peer, his equal, or on equal footing. The Bible says, "let the prophets speak two or three and let the others judge" (1 Cor. 14:29), but this divine order was not followed in Branham Tabernacle. Even his own church carries the name Branham, not the Name of Jesus Christ. In Branham's early days (1946-1950), it was okay for other men to teach or exercise gifts of healing or prophecy. But as Brother Branham got older, he always complained of "carnal impersonators" or "imposters" with similar gifts.

Pay attention to what the "tent vision" was all about. Branham, in a vision, saw himself with a gift that nobody could copy or impersonate. In the vision, people went into a little room and Branham would heal them (through Jesus, of course), but no other Gospel minister on earth would be able to copy it.38 This time he would never get tired or weak as he had in the past.

Two comments about this vision: First, where is it written in Scripture that some miracles should only be done through one prophet or apostle? It isn't in Malachi chapter 4. It isn't in Revelation chapter 3. The function of his vision is to focus the attention on Branham as the super-prophet, not to demonstrate God's grace to the Church or anything else.

The second thing about this vision: It didn't come to pass. Brother Branham died without it ever being fulfilled. And for those who say, "Well, it came to pass spiritually or figuratively" by virtue of his teachings, we reply—Branham himself did not interpret the vision as a symbol for his teaching ministry. He interpreted the vision as a literal event, to occur in the physical realm.

This vision failed to come to pass, just like the four other visions mentioned in the previous section. Brother Branham was a praying man, but he led people to believe things that were not true, he taught unscriptural or unbiblical doctrines, and he predicted things with "Thus Saith the Lord" or by a vision that did not come to pass. This makes him a false prophet, by the Bible's own definition (Deut. 18:21-22).

Our Prayer for You

If you are part of the Message Churches, our prayer is that you will not put Brother Branham in the place of Jesus Christ. As we have shown, he often made mistakes and taught unscriptural things. He contradicted himself many times—far more than we have room to print here. Though he claimed to have a perfect record in visions, several of them failed to come to pass. Only the Bible carries God's infallible Word, and putting your hope on anything else is building your foundation on shifting sand (Matthew 7:26-27). We pray that you will seek God to return to the simple faith that saved you, a gospel built on Jesus Christ alone and not on a "prophet-messenger" who is shown to be an untrustworthy source for final truth.

If you don't know where to start, lay aside the tapes and begin by reading the First Epistle of John every day for 30 days. And look for the biblical test of what it means to have eternal life.


Footnotes

1 Conduct, Order, Doctrine. Vol. 2, p. 1121.

2 Conduct, Order, Doctrine. Vol. 2, p. 577—578.

3 "The Great Coming Revival," 1954-07-18A; "Fellowship Through the Blood," 1955-06-05; "Revelation Chapter 4, Twenty-Four Elders," 1961-01-01.

4 "An Uncertain Sound,"1961-03-15.

5 "The Cruelty of Sin,"1953-04-03.

6 This was stated in over 30 sermons. To name just two, "Condemnation by Representation," 1960-11-13, and "Conference," 1960-11-25.

7 "Why Are We Not a Denomination," 1958-09-27.

8 Pearry Green, The Acts of the Prophet (Tucson: Tucson Tabernacle, 1969), p. 68. Also, "The Pillar of Fire," 1953-05-09.

9 "Life Story," 1950-08-20.

10 "Life Story," 1951-07-22.

11 "Life Story," 1953-12-08.

12 "Life Story," 1951-04-15.

13 "Life Story," 1952-07-20.

14 William Branham: A Man Sent from God (1950), p. 43.

15 "How the Angel Came to Me and His Commission," 1955-01-17.

16 "Watchman, What of the Night?" 1960-07-22; "An Absolute," 1963-01-27.

17 "A Court Trial," 1964-04-12.

18 "Lean Not Unto Thy Own Understanding," 1965-01-20.

19 Adoption, p. 120.

20 "The Spoken Word Is the Original Seed," 1962-03-18E.

21 "There Is a Man That Can Turn On the Light," 1963-12-29M.

22 "The Harvest Time," 1964-12-12.

23 An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 377.

24 Conduct, Order, Doctrine. Vol 2, p. 819, question 179.

25 "The Invisible Union of the Bride of Christ," 1965-11-25 (Spoken Word 2:15, p. 43).

26 In "Lamb's Book of Life," 1956-06-03; "It Is I," 1960-11-24; "The Revelation of Jesus Christ," 1960-12-04M; "The Uncertain Sound," 1960-12-18; "Revelation Chapter 4," 1961-01-01; "The Conflict Between God and Satan," 1962-05-31; "The First Seal," 1963-03-18; and "The Third Seal," 1963-03-20.

27 "This Day This Scripture Is Fulfilled," 1965-01-25.

28 "Questions and Answers 3," 1964-08-30M. Also taught in "Who Is This Melchisedec?" 1965-02-21E.

29 "The Seed Is Not Heir with the Shuck," 1965-02-18.

30 "The Mark of the Beast," 1956-07-15.

31 Note that this was the opposite of the Jewish custom at the day, where men wore a kippah or yarmulke while praying and wives wore nothing on their heads. Paul did not require the Corinthians to abandon the Greek customs of prayer and revert to the Hebrew customs, but instead found a positive spiritual meaning in their worship forms.

32 The Revelation of the Seven Seals, p. 299.

33 "The Rapture," 1965-12-04.

34 Pearry Green, The Acts of the Prophet (1969), p. 119, 115.

35 'Vision and Prophecy,' 1956-04-08; Footprints on the Sands of Time, pp. 265, 602—603.

36 "The Influence of Another," 1962-10-13; cited in Footprints on the Sands of Time, p. 387.

37 "Jezebel Religion," 1961-03-19; cited in Footprints on the Sands of Time, pp. 611, 614. A near-identical statement with "Thus Saith the Lord" is in The Spoken Word Is the Original Seed, 1962-03-18E, p. 123.

38 Described in Footprints on the Sands of Time, pp. 495—496, 501—502.


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