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The False Prophet - William Marion Branham 
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see also:  A Challenge to Message Believers
                           William Branham False Prophet / Teacher

william branham fwmWilliam Branham was a minister I once greatly admired. I have several of his books, many teaching tapes, and a video of his ministry in action. I would actually weep when hearing him minister supernaturally and wonder why the Lord is not manifesting Himself in this way today.

Like most of the "giants" of Pentecostalism, if one can get past the hype and the emotion and do some solid logical research one will discover the adage is true that states: "The best of men are men at best." I do not doubt Branham's sincerity, nor His love for Jesus but it is indisputable that his teachings were heretical and many of his prophecies failed to come to pass. Due to teaching false doctrine and giving out false prophecies, William Branham must be labeled a false prophet.

Some may ask "why Branham on the Rogue of the month, he has been dead for over 20 years."? The answer is simple - many 1,000's of people, and almost all the leaders of Pentecostalism and Charismania still revere this man as a true prophet. The web is filled with sites dedicated to Branham in English, French, and Spanish. All of his sermons are still sent out world-wide, all of his teachings now on cassette and video tape are being sold to yet another generation of "sign-seekers." So, though he himself is dead, the poison of his false teachings are still affecting multitudes of people. For this reason William Branham rightly deserves a place in the Rogues Gallery.

Actual Quotes

"I'm convinced that the same Angel that come down in the form of a Man and talked to Abraham with His back turned to the tent (yet knowing the thoughts in Sarah's heart), is the same One here tonight. He promised it would be. I believe that that same Angel anoints us, because It was God. Do you believe it?"

The Pillar of Fire is seen resting on Brother Branham's 'right' shoulder. When Brother Branham was shown this picture a few weeks later, he said, "Put it on the shelf. They didn't believe the others and they won't believe this one either".

branham jpg

This Pillar of Fire had been with Brother Branham since the time of his birth. During his ministry it was photographed several times. When praying for the sick he would watch the Pillar of fire move around the building from one person to another, revealing the "thoughts and intents" of the heart, the past, the present and the future.

On the night of January 24, 1950, one of the most amazing photographs (pictured below) of all time was taken in the Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas. As William Branham stood at the podium, a halo of fire appeared above his head. This picture was the only one that turned out on the entire film! In the Message "CONVINCED THAN CONCERNED", preached June 10, 1962:

That Angel met me up there and told me what he did. I stood before heathens by the thousands and tens of thousands. You say, "Aren't you afraid?" No, sir! I'm convinced that It come from God! I'm convinced because it was Scriptural! I'm convinced that It's the Angel of the Lord. I believe it with all that's in my heart. I'm convinced if we would ask God for anything, He'd give it to us. He's just here. Don't be scared. He's here.
I'm convinced that that very Spirit that you feel, the Holy Spirit that is moving in us, I'm convinced that that's Christ. Amen! I'm convinced that, right now, that This is what I'm looking at, this Circle of Light before me, I'm convinced that's the Holy Spirit! I'm convinced that vision is over my eyes! I know it is. Amen! I challenge every devil in the world, this hour! He's God. Christ is not just a prophet, He is God, nothing short of it.

What do you think about it, lady? Are you and I strangers one another? You believe me to be His prophet? You do? You have a head trouble. That's right. Your name is Mrs. Moore. If that's right, raise your hand. Go home and be healed.
Now, it's (Pillar of Fire) circling the building. The whole building's anointed, the whole place. I'm convinced that the Presence of Jesus Christ will heal every person here. Are you convinced the same? You convinced that I tell you the Truth, God vindicates I'm telling you the Truth? Then I command that you stand to your feet and accept your healing in the Name of Jesus Christ. If you are convinced, raise your hands up to Him and give Him praise.

In the Message "INFLUENCE", preached March 15, 1964:

Beyond any shadow of doubt, the claim that was made thirty years ago about a Pillar of Fire that the cameras caught - Your Texas camera caught it not long ago (Jan. 1950). Scientific research throwed it through all kinds of research that they could find by the FBI. How did you do it? Took in Texas for Texans. When you see the sign, it cannot be disproved. It's the truth.
But will you believe the voice that follows the sign? The sign is scientifically proved.

My Critique of William Branham

The above are just a couple of excerpts from some of Branham's meetings. One thing which characterized his meetings was his total dependence upon an angel. When his angel would show up then supernatural events and manifestations would begin to occur. Once he was asked if it was the Holy Spirit that did these things in his meetings. What was Branham's response? No, my angel does these things!

When ministering to people William Branham would always ask them if they believed he was God's prophet. When they answered yes then he would begin to tell them what was wrong with them and lay hands on them and send them on their way. It seemed as if the people had to buy into his claim to be a prophet before the angel (spirit) would reveal to Branham what was wrong with them.

Now, unlike many outright frauds, like Peter Popoff, Branham did reveal things to people and about them that he got supernaturally. He was not faking these things. What happened in his meetings were without a doubt supernatural in nature. The issue is this - there are only 2 possibilities then, (1) they were from God or (2) they were from the devil.

We have no Biblical record of Jesus doing His mighty works by the assistance of any angel(s). He did them by virtue of being God the Son and by the power of the Holy Spirit. The apostles in the book of Acts did what they did by the power of the Holy Spirit, again no angel is mentioned.

With this Biblical record, why then did Branham need an angel when no other Biblical prophet or apostle needed one? At best his experience with this angel is extra-Biblical and thus very suspect. It is now my opinion that this angel was an angel of light.

2 Cor. 11:13-15

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

Because of the signs and wonders in his meetings Branham demanded that the people accept his teaching. The "Word" he delivered was "confirmed" by signs following (or preceding at times). What does the Scripture say regarding this?

Deut. 13:1-3

"If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

This text has always proven troublesome to those in the prophetic movement. They attempt to point out the signs and wonders proving what they are doing and teaching is approved of God. The problem is what they are teaching is usually either diametrically opposed to orthodox Christian doctrine or extra-Biblical in content.

Branham arose, he did signs and wonders, much of what he revealed about people was true . . .(but we cannot discount the reality of familiar spirits who also can reveal exactly the things Branham did with the help of his angel). What of his doctrine? Did it lead God's people way from the true knowledge of God? YES!

William Branham's Beliefs

  • Branham started off as a Baptist and then changed over to a Oneness Pentecostal. He vehemently denied the Trinity of God and took a strong "Jesus Only" stance in regards to the godhead. This alone places him in the ranks of earlier heretics. The early church fathers fought long and hard battles against those who denied the reality of One God in three distinct persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thus, his Jesus was not the true Jesus of the Bible.
  • Branham also believed he was Elijah the prophet, see the picture above. This picture is available on the William Branham Homepage and many many other sites on the web. What was more, other people believed him to be the prophet Elijah who was to come before the return of Christ Jesus. Branham was not Elijah, thus we can easily see the depth of the deception working in him and his followers.
  • Branham taught a works salvation, not uncommon for most Pentecostals, although his form was rather extreme in regards to dress, make-up, etc. Thus, his doctrine of salvation was not sola gratia, sola fide, sola scriptura as the reformers correctly taught.
  • Branham held to the belief in UFO's and somehow they figure into the end times (which is interesting when one considered the X-Files and Heavens' Gate).
  • He also taught about the great pyramid and its Biblical meaning and significance to his ministry.

Branham died in 1965 after his car was struck by a drunk driver. For many days after his death several well known Latter Rain ministers prayed over his body in an attempt to raise Branham from the dead. . .obviously they failed.

William Branham's Legacy

Apart from the fact that almost everything he said or taught publicly is available in one form of another there is a more lasting and damaging legacy left behind. Branham was responsible in a great part for the formation of what came to be known as the New Order of the Latter Rain. Branham believed in the distributing of spiritual gifts by the laying on of hands, he believed in restored prophets and apostles. He was the vanguard of many more to come who will operate in this end-time glory and power. Branham had a great influence over Hawtin & Hunt who would formalize his concepts into more of a doctrinal base at the Sharon compound in North Battleford. These errors, many propagated by Branham are still infecting millions today. This is unfortunately his legacy, and that being one or heresy, aberrant teachings, and deceiving signs.

Copyright© Rev. Robert S. Liichow, 1997                   What are your thoughts on this article?
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