On a recent Youtube broadcast Perry Stone eulogises William Branham by referring to a vision that Branham had in 1933
Although there are some interesting points, Branham believed the earth would be destroyed by 1977, a time when the USA car industry was still pumping out Buicks. The earth is not supposed to be still around in 2021 according to Branham.
The following articles show the dangerous flaws in Branham’s life, doctrine and ministry.
WILLIAM BRANHAM (1909-1965)
BIBLE WAY CULT
THEY TRADED JESUS FOR BRANHAM!
Branham was not Christian for his teachings contradict the bible. One example is opening the seven seals of Revelation:
He said, “I saw seven angels in the form of a pyramid that swept down, picked me up and was brought east to open the seven seals of God” (Commissioned by Seven Mighty Angels).
“Who is worthy to open the book and loose the seals? No man in heaven or earth was able to open the book except the lamb that was slain and redeemed us to God by his blood” (Rev. 5:1-10).
The last Bible book is The Revelation of Jesus Christ not Branham.
He nor any other sinner only Jesus could open the seals. Scripture is our sole rule for faith and practice so all must agree with it to separate truth from error. Their preachers read the bible through a Branham lens then rubber-stamp his lies with no objective bible study. Christianity is historic and evidential.
Remember: Judas was one of the inner circle of the 12 Apostles who cast out devils, worked miracles, and looked like the real article but according to Jesus “was a devil” (John 6:70). That explains Branham’s ministry for wonderful works and prophecy can be marks of a wolf in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15-23; Deut. 13:1-5). His evolving beliefs and ramblings about church ages, the bride, Rome etc. are conspiracy theories with no basis in reality. At best the whole shebang is the skin of truth stuffed with lies.
A man from Edmonton stopped for a red light on Fraser Highway, Langley, BC., as a Branham tape rolled with maximum volume in his car. He said, “The Bible Way Church in Cloverdale is a cult.” This shows they have divisions. Holding the cross, I asked: “Who is the final authority that speaks for God in these last days?” He answered, “William Branham, the prophet to the lukewarm Laodicean church, the last of seven church ages.”
Those churches were not in ages but in Asia 2,000 years ago. What does Hebrews 1:1-2 say?” I asked, but he did not know.
It says: “God spoke in past times by prophets but today has spoken by Jesus” not Branham. They swallow cyanide in print and on tape by the megadose.
Ashley in a donut shop said: “Branham was vindicated as a true prophet by a pillar of fire” as seen in a picture. In contrast, the right bible way to “judge” a prophet is to compare his words with God’s standard, the Bible (Acts 17:11; 1 Cor. 14:29). God in scripture does not give contradictory messages but Branham has other substandard demonic sources, pyramids and zodiacs. The errors mentioned here are a tip of the iceberg:
Error #1: Branham Witchcraft:
He said the zodiac and Egyptian pyramids are equal to Scripture in the revelation of God’s Word.2 He has a pyramid shaped tombstone in Indiana. Witchcraft, astrology and New Age all use pyramids and zodiacs for divination which means predicting the future. Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, saw pillars of light and angels. Russell, Jehovah’s Witness founder, measured Egyptian pyramids, changed inches to years, to confirm world’s end in 1914. Nothing happened so he added inches and years in later writings. Their next president, Rutherford, rejected pyramidology. Ellen White, 7thDay Adventist co-founder, predicted the end in 1844, Joseph Smith, 1891, Branham 1977. All had lying spirits in their mouths (1 Kings 22:22). It is biblical to name people who lie publicly (Acts 5:1-10).
A GRAVE PROBLEM!
The Great Pyramid was the hub of a huge complex of cemeteries. Mummified kings were entombed with vast amounts of gold, food and other things to maintain an opulent lifestyle in the after-life. Poor people were buried with nothing in surrounding cemeteries. In that culture of death dads ended up as mummies. Pyramids have an Occultic alignment with the stars.
Mummies were preserved life-like as possible to provide a permanent home for the soul to cheat death and have eternal life. Evidently the soul did not know the body was dead. The pyramid is an essential point of pilgrimage for Occultists, witches, magicians, necromancers (seekers of the dead) and a place of demons and spirits. All are an abomination (Deut. 18). Narrow passages through the rock allowed Occultic soul travel.
Branham bought into these far-fetched fantasies saying the pyramid and zodiac are equal to scripture to reveal God’s word. A man at Jesus’ tomb said, “He is not here for he is risen” (Mark 16:6). What revelation of God’s word would Branham get from Egyptian cemeteries? Do fantasy-prone followers practice mummification at their churches? Benny Hinn visits graves to get anointing from bones.
Zodiacs are used by witches and astrologers to tell the future and also enabled Branham to predict Jesus’ return in 1977. Astrologers, sorcerers and star gazers are abominable (Jer. 47:12,13).
May 6, 2005: I stood on a street in Abbotsford, BC. with a Jesus sign. Soon a young lady dressed in black grabbed my cross, broke it in several pieces, threw it into traffic and walked home. Later, on her driveway, the witch turned to me saying, “Satan lives here!” then continued in a state of rage ordering me off her property.
As a last resort she threatened to turn two pit bulls loose to drive me away. I said, “Bring them on! Dogs are my friends.” She opened her high fence gate and roared, “Attack! Attack!” Her dogs ran up to me and I petted one then extended my hand and said, “In Jesus Name.” She became quiet and walked down the street. Jesus can close mouths of lions, witches or dogs. All cultists are Satanists for Satan is the author of their belief systems. “Resist the devil and he will run” (James 4:7). Witches are enemies of the cross. See New Age article
Error #2: Branham is Elijah: At a Seattle seminar a woman asked, “Why did God allow Branham to be killed in a car accident?” Morris Cerullo answered, “I think because followers lifted him up as Elijah and he went along with it.” Cerullo, like Copeland, has a deity complex and is duped exalting himself as a duplicate of God so his life is also in danger.
In a meeting, Cerullo shouted, “You are not looking at Morris Cerullo; you are looking at God; you are looking at Jesus.” After Elijah went to heaven, his spirit rested upon Elisha (2 Kings 2:15). The same spirit came upon John the Baptist to fulfill Malachi 4:6, “turning hearts of fathers to children” (Luke 1:17).
Only Jesus can restore all things (Acts 3:20,21). Eden Lost will become Eden Restored as seen in Revelation 21. Branhamites, like Hindus, believe in reincarnation saying their founder is Elijah returned. Jesus said, “Elias shall first come and restore all things” (Matt. 17:11). With slight of hand they lift this verse out of context as if it referred to Branham but the next two verses make it clear it is about John the Baptist. God the Father said to listen to Jesus not to Elijah (Matt. 17:3-5).
Error #3: Jesus to return in 1977:
“Jesus did not say no man could know the year, month or week in which his coming would be completed. I sincerely believe and maintain as a private student of the Word along with divine inspiration that 1977 ought to terminate the world systems and usher in the millennium.”1
Did Jesus come in 1977? On page 10 of The Messenger we are told Branham is “infallible” so is in the same league as Popes. There is no need to speculate for the bible tells exactly when Jesus will return, when you least expect him “like a thief in the night” (1 Thess. 5:1). Prophetic words must be “judged” by comparing them with the bible record for God does not contradict himself (Acts 17:11; 1 Cor. 14:29). Writings of true prophets are scripture but Branham’s do not qualify. The Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship distanced themselves from Branham after he wanted his writings recognized as scripture.
Aug. 3/02: A motor-mouth follower of Branham showed me a copy of a later edition of the book, Seven Church Ages, to prove my above quote wrong. He claimed “divine inspiration” so blamed God for his lies. In the new edition it appears they deleted “divine inspiration.” Truly, a slight of mind and hand as they repackage the lies. In the Bible, false prophets did not correct false prophecies but were stoned to death.
California did not slide into the ocean as predicted (tape: choosing a bride). The USA was not destroyed by atomic bombs and The World Council of Churches did not consume all denominations under control of Roman Catholics by 1977. He should have read his tea leaves again. It is a non-prophet organization based on speculation not revelation. Tune up your balogna detector! False prophets and fortune tellers were killed (Deut. 13:1-5; 18:20-22) and the same thing happened to Branham and Mormon founder, Joseph Smith who was shot in jail. Prophecies, visions and dreams that do not square with scripture are mind delusions and unbridled speculation from fertile imaginations. The ground-hog’s predictions are by far more accurate. Catholic visionaries speak of praying to Mary.
The church is built on the foundation of Jesus’ apostles and Old Testament prophets. Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). When you erect a building, a foundation is laid once. “God spoke in times past by prophets but in these last days has spoken by his Son” (Heb. 1:1,2). Jesus is the greatest “Apostle” (Heb. 3:1). False prophesying is like shooting an arrow into a tree then painting a bull’s eye around it. They make predictions then with slight of mind and newspaper theology revise history to make it appear they came true. Jesus told the future to the world’s end in Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 and Revelation so there is no need for guessing games. Prophets today repeat what scripture says about the past, present and future to build up, stir up and cheer up believers (1 Cor. 14:3).
We are told Branham was accurate in his predictions in spite of his record showing Jesus returning in 1977. The bible tells us a false prophet can show a sign that comes to pass to convince you to go after his false gods but that prophet shall be put to death (Deut. 13: 1-5). Many have followed Branham’s false god and false Christ after seeing an imaginary sign.
Error #4: The Serpent had Sex with Eve:
The Theatre of the Absurd continues: Branham said the serpent in Eden was the missing link between man and monkey. Truly, a giant leap for mankind! Does he have fossils or transitional forms to confirm evolution? Species lines do not cross since every creature reproduces after its kind. He said reptiles mate with humans: “Man and animal did mingle. Eve had sex with the snake and Cain was born.”3 The Bible says, “Adam knew his wife and she conceived and bare Cain then said I received a man from the Lord” [not from Satan] (Genesis 4:1). Where are the hybrids, Nephalim, half snake and half human like mermaids? Sons of God, believers, and daughters of men, unbelievers, had children who became mighty men like Goliath not hybrids (Gen. 6:4). Missing links are still missing. This wild distortion shows he overdosed on false doctrine. What was he smoking?
He also claimed Eve’s eating was adultery with the serpent. Genesis 3:15 is the first mention of the Gospel and says Jesus would step on the snake’s [Satan’s] head. This is symbolic of Jesus defeating Satan at Calvary and does not refer to a literal snake in Eden. Metaphors tell what Satan is like not what he looks like. He is cunning and devious like a snake, produces fear like a “roaring lion” and is also like a dragon in Revelation. The snake “crawling on its belly in the dust” is symbolic of Jesus putting his enemies under his feet and shows the extent of Satan‘s fall, from heaven to walking on earth (1 Cor. 15:25; Job 1:7).
Bob Larson, Neil Anderson and John Hagee echo the same mythology that demons have sex with humans. To believe that one must be psychotic, out of touch with reality. Their sophistry is pure sensationalism with no basis in reality since demons have neither physical bodies nor human sperm but are fallen angels that do not procreate.
Larson speaks of male and female sexual spirits, Incubus and Secubus, and uses the bible like a sword to castrate male sex demons and lies claiming Christians can be demon possessed. Brigham Young, polygamist Mormon false prophet, said, “Adam God was resurrected, had sex with Mary and Jesus was born.” They have more hang-ups than a dry cleaner! All liars shall have their part in the lake of fire (Rev. 21:8). Don’t be like a half-cooked piece of spaghetti. Stand against this superstitious rubbish.
A Branhamite threatened: “I will put an Ichabod curse on you!” The whole scene is more like black magik of Voodoo than Christianity with its collective madness and doorways to the Occult: pyramids, zodiacs, sex perversion, curses, missing links, a created Jesus, false gods, men as legalistic control freaks and dictators, women as doormats, reincarnation, fake healings, snakes and women having sex, out of body experiences, false prophecies, trances, women haters, tape brainwashing, motor mouths, angels of light and a pyramid-shaped church with no cross in Cloverdale. False prophets: Kenneth Hagin, and Copeland endorse Branham. There is no sign of Christianity in the above list.
Error #5: Legalism & Brainwashing:
Branham said: “You be sure to say just what the tape says. Don’t say nothing else because I don’t say that of my own it’s him that says it.” Some left Hutterite colonies and joined Branham. A colony is considered an ark on a troubled sea and only those in the ark will be saved. The controlling Colony Boss thinks all others are brain dead and does all their thinking. Just kiss your brains good-bye when you join this cult.
Regimented Hutterite women with long hair wear dresses that sweep the floor and listen to 500 year old sermons so they easily adapt to the dictator/doormat suffocating Branham lifestyle. The issue of “head covering” is not a command but a cultural custom we can ignore (1 Cor. 11:1-16). Romans had a custom of “greeting one another with a holy kiss” that does not fit into our culture today (Romans 16:16). Muslims wear traditional veils that have nothing to do with spirituality only outward appearance since God looks on the heart. Jews practice outward flesh circumcision which was fulfilled by heart circumcision and a changed life (Romans 2:28, 29).
This chauvinistic, barbaric subculture with subjugation of women by dehumanized male control freaks reminds me of Mormons and polygamy, Jehovah Witness slavery or the brutal Taliban regime in Afghanistan. Men ruling over women is part of the curse from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:16). In Christianity there is “neither Jew nor gentile, male nor female” (Gal. 3:28). A Branham follower said, “Women are there to serve men.” We are all called to serve each other and to esteem others better than ourselves. In this protocol, wives must feel like maids.
God is not apartheid, practicing racial or gender segregation, since the only supreme race in the Bible is the human race. Abraham was the father of many nations. If you are in Christ, the one Royal Seed, you are an heir of the promises through Abraham’s seed, Jesus.
Branham said it was politically incorrect to give women the vote then added, “While growing up I hated women and have to watch every move now to keep from thinking the same thing.”4 How can one hate women or anyone else and claim to be a Christian? This forerunner of the Taliban with a dictator/doormat, master/slave outdated view of women and no love is like “sounding brass and tinkling symbols” (1 Cor. 13:1). A 2007 study showed that bullying or belittling your spouse causes fear, stress and heart attacks.
Their main brainwashing method is listening to Branham’s old heretical tapes. Some call them tapeworms. “God spoke in times past by prophets but in these last days has spoken by his Son” (Heb. 1:1,2). They lie and twist this Scripture like a pretzel saying, “In these last days God speaks by Branham.” When their motor-mouths start they run memorized tapes. Mormons, United Pentecostals, Crossroads Church of Christ, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Moonies are also very divisive and exercise suffocating control with members on a virtual leash in a cage. They have no credibility of their own so they use Christian words but pour their own heretical meanings into them.
Error #6: A False Christ & Salvation:
Paul warned of a false Jesus, gospel and spirit (2 Cor. 11:4). Their belief system teaches that Jesus is a created being not the Creator “not eternal but had a beginning.”5 Jesus created all things (John 1:3; Col. 1:16). He is O Immanuel, The God with us (Matt. 1:23 Greek; John 1:1). Astronaut, Neal Armstrong, said, “It is more important that God walked on earth than man walked on the moon.”
Branham denied the Holy Spirit is a person and believed like Christian Science: “He is word manifested thought.”6 Also, “In the beginning Christ was not God but an attribute that was a thought”(The Mighty God Unveiled Before us, p.11). If Jesus did not exist before his birth, how could he be “with the Father before the world began?” (John 17:5). Branham corrected Jesus: “Multitudes who were not born again will go into eternal life.”7 Did he mean eternal life in hell? Compare that with Jesus’ words (John 3:1-16). He also said hell is not eternal. We can find forgiveness of sins by praying to a priest if we have the right Priest, Jesus Christ, The Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14). Jesus is : “God manifest in flesh: (1 Tim. 3:16)
Error #7: The Rock is revelation:
Branham said the church is built on the rock of revelation.8 “That Rock is Christ” not revelation (1 Cor. 10:4). The sayings of Jesus are also rock and all the rest is shifting sand (Matt. 7:24). Seven church ages is a myth. The churches were in Asia not in ages (Rev. 1:11). They existed in the first century and do not represent this age. Branham said denominations are the mark of the beast so he organized another one. Christians in Ephesus burned their occult books (Acts 19:19). You have nothing to lose but your darkness and chains so burn Branham books and tapes. Pray: God be merciful to me a sinner.
Error #8: Fake Healing:
In the Bible, gifts of healings are from the Spirit (1 Cor. 12). Branham said a 200 pound barefoot angel did the healing so he obviously weighed the angel. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:1-15). He spoke of fireballs in his meetings but he is the only one that saw them. Demonic altered states of consciousness produce these mind games. The circus is run from the monkey cage. He is so far from the truth you can’t get a radar fix on him.
In a Winnipeg crusade, a newspaper told of many healings. Later, reporters checked and found all had become worse or died. It was a form of mass hysteria and hypnotism where people see what they want to see. With slight of hand and mind he created the mirage of healing and claimed to discern cancer through vibrations and swelled hands. He prayed for people and declared the cancers dead then said they would be sick for a few days until poisons came out of their bodies. Did Jesus ever say that to people? Branham left town well healed in his wallet but his patients died.
Error #9: A False God:
Branham said: “In the beginning God was not even God just a thought” (The Spoken Word, Vol. 3, p.79). If God did not exist but was only a thought, who had the thought? This is counterfeit Christianity. God doesn’t have to think, He knows! The truth is the Eternal Father had an Eternal Son. When you have a false God and false Christ it follows that everything else in the colossal hoax is false as minds are clouded by fantasy.
In his book, The Mighty God unveiled before us, he claimed to be one of the manifest Sons of God and said, “God always had skin on him” which is like human Mormon gods. The Christian God is spirit with neither skin nor bones (John 4:24; Luke 24:39). The belief that “God always had skin on him” denies the incarnation which tells us at a point in time “the Word became flesh” after coming down from heaven (John 1:1,14; 6:33). Mary wrapped her gift to the world and laid him in a manger for there was no room in the Inn. Make room for Jesus for there is room at the cross for you. Branham could not tell the difference between The Spoken Word, the Bible, and the Living Word, Jesus.
Branham believed the modalistic Oneness doctrine of God which denies the trinity and teaches Jesus is his own father and the only person in the Godhead who appeared in three different modes like one actor coming on stage at different times as three different persons. He said Jesus appeared as Father in the Old Testament, as Son in the Gospels and as Holy Spirit in Acts but the Father and Spirit are both in Genesis 1:2.
Sabellius, a third century Egyptian philosopher and expert in pyramidology (not theology), started this heresy. It includes United Pentecostals, most Apostolics, T.D.Jakes, Rod Parsley, Arnold Murray and others. Oneness people were excommunicated from the Assemblies of God, USA, about 1914. At Jesus’ baptism, the Father spoke from heaven and the Spirit descended in the form of a dove (Matt. 3:16,17). All three persons were present at the same time so how can Jesus be the only one in the Godhead? Was Jesus praying to himself from the cross, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do?” (Luke 23:34). They say Jesus’ human nature prayed to his divine nature but it is separate persons that communicate not natures.
In his rapture tape, Branham corrected the Bible and traced the seven church ages to “Enoch, the seventh from Noah.” In contrast, the Bible says, “Enoch was seventh from Adam,” not Noah (Jude 14). He claims Enoch’s rapture to heaven is “a type of the seven church ages and this age takes the rapture.”
His misled, biblically illiterate followers with no compass, in an altered state of consciousness, are totally confused by winds of doctrine and commandments of men. Like witches, New Agers, and French astrologer, Nostradamus, Branham received revelations from the angel of light, Satan, by using zodiacs and pyramids. Extra-biblical revelations are the foundation of cultism. They are directed by shooting stars not the North Star, the Bible. Kenneth Hagin and Copeland were influenced by Branham and we see that fruit is like the heretical tree as both claim to be Gods. The best way to find out if a man is a God or not is to ask his wife. That is the acid test. Hagin built his cult on an incorrect translation of the Greek word “Rhema” which means “wicked words of persecutors” (Mat. 5:11). He said it is a creative word but only the Creator, not human creatures, can speak creative words. Copeland said “God is the greatest failure of all time.” He commands God but clay cannot command the Potter (Isaiah 45). See Copeland article:
The majority have the gift of gab as motor- mouths go 60 miles an hour with gusts to 100. Trying to get a word in edgewise in this irrational emotionalism is an exercise in futility. “A fool is full of words” (Eccl. 10:14). Their motor-mouths start then run old memorized heretical Branham tapes. They should join Compulsive Talkers Anon Anon Anonymous.
ERROR #10: Baptism Cleanses From Sin:
They put the cart before the horse saying waters of baptism wash away sin. Remission of sins comes by believing in Jesus (Acts 10:43). One must believe “with all his heart” before baptism (Acts 8:37). The biblical command is to first repent then be baptized (Acts 2:38). Baptism is a symbol showing you believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ and you are dead to your old life and risen to walk in newness of life (Romans 6). A wedding ring is a symbol of marriage but if you lost your ring you are still married. Also, if you believe in Jesus but do not have the symbol, baptism, you are still a Christian.
The gospel does not include baptism (1 Cor. 1:17). Our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus not by water (Rev. 1:5). Saul of Tarsus had his sins washed away by “calling on the Lord” then became the Apostle Paul (Acts 22:16). The true bible way is to baptize believers, Christians. Unbelievers will be damned not unbaptized believers (Mark 16:16). Noah’s flood is likened unto baptism but he was righteous before going through the waters just as believers are righteous before baptism (1 Peter 3:20,21).
United Pentecostals held a convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I met them at various places and without exception they asked, “What formula was used in your baptism?” It reminded me of babies in high chairs bawling about their formula. We are not saved by works, by anything we do, including baptism or speaking in tongues. Salvation is possible only by what Jesus did for us at Calvary. Baptizing an unbeliever changes him from a dry to a wet hell-bound sinner. Salvation is Christ plus nothing. There is no infant baptism in scripture.
“In the name of Jesus” means “in the authority of Jesus.” It is not some magic mantra. Imagine a policeman at your door saying, “Open in the name of the law.” Does the law have a name? It means in the authority of the law. Cornelius changed the sequence of the Oneness formula. He believed, received the Holy Spirit then was baptized (Acts 10:42-48).
You can’t expect them to understand baptism when they are confused about the Godhead. Error begets more error. Like Jehovah’s Witnesses, they speak of the trinity as three heads on one neck. God, the Father, is invisible Spirit with neither neck, flesh nor bones (John 4:24; Luke 24:39). Minds become like concrete, all mixed up and firmly set. Let’s hang together or they will hang us separately.
The first two verses in Hebrews puts the whole Branham belief system in the garbage can. It says: “God spoke in the past by prophets but now speaks by Jesus” not Branham. Jesus is that prophet who will restore all things (Acts 3:19-26). The restoration is described in Revelation 21, Eden lost becomes Eden restored.
The best Branham can do is destroy but Jesus restores. The death rate is one per person so accept Christ now. Branham followers no doubt teach their children not to lie but they endorse Branham’s lies that contradict the Bible. All cultists are Satanists for Satan is the author of their belief systems. Burn Branham tapes and books as in Acts 19:19 and renounce all works of darkness. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit.
Branham followers no doubt expect me and other Christians to roll over and play dead as they insist we have the Mark of the Beast which they interpret as belonging to some other denomination other than their Bible Way. The Bible says “Give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15). It is not unloving to tell the truth.
7th Day Adventists echo the same condemnation saying we must go to their church on Saturday but Sunday worship is The Mark of the Beast. Will the real Beast please stand up? Adventists who keep all rules and the Sabbath are “Weak in Faith” (Romans 14). Judge nobody by Sabbaths (Col. 2:16).Click here for Adventist article
The Gospel that saves is a Down-To-Earth message of Jesus coming down to earth from heaven to save us from our sins (1 Cor.15:1-4; John 6:33). If I was guilty and sentenced to hang but some innocent person loved me and died as my substitute to pay my penalty I could go free. Christ died in our place but we must accept his pardon and free gift of salvation not of works by praying, “God be merciful to me a sinner (Luke 18:10-14). At death we are “carried by angels” to the place of comfort or torment (Luke 16:22). A great gulf exists between believers in Paradise and those separated from God (v.26).
Branham, Branhamized cult leaders and others display mule mentality like the mule Jesus rode into Jerusalem (Matt. 21). Crowds shouted and waved palm branches as Jesus entered the city. The Mule was impressed with the celebration and thought: It is all about me. I am very popular here! But it did not realize the focus was on Jesus riding on his back not himself.
In like manner, bad apples masquerading as oranges read the bible then with fortress mentality conclude: “It is all about me. I write by divine inspiration; I opened the seven seals of Revelation; I will restore all things; I am a God; I know the end will come in 1977; I am Elijah the last days prophet; I get revelations from pyramids and zodiacs; I command God.”
Moses’ serpent on a pole was a preview of Jesus on the cross (John 3:14-16), also the Passover Lamb and Jewish sacrificial system, temple destruction, Jonah and the fish, baptism and the Lord’s supper point to his death, burial and resurrection (1 Cor. 5:7; John 2:19-21; Mat. 12:40; Rom. 6; 1 Cor. 11). Jesus, speaking of the scriptures said, “It is all about Me” (John 5:39). The whole cultic belief system with its false hopes is a placebo for the disease called sin. The death-rate is one per-person so accept the real Jesus now. If you are sucked into the black hole of cultism, running on empty and fear, pray: Jesus, forgive my sins as I receive you as my Saviour. Deliver me from my abyss of deception, in Jesus name, Amen.
All churches have one thing in common, none can save, Jesus Saves (Matt. 1:21). I have attended Alliance, Assembly of God, Pentecostal (PAOC), Baptist and Christian Life Assembly churches. Trade Branham for Jesus! Don’t be concerned about hair loss for it will be restored in the hair-after!
1. 7 Church Ages, 322. 2. Al Dager, Vengeance is ours, 59.
3. Original Sin, 2,3. 4. Branham, My Life Story, 27.
5. Exp. of SCA, 37. 6. op.cit. 7 & 8, SCA, 266,13.
So called”Brother Branham” doctrine lured my sister into into becoming a believer after she was brokenhearted (divorced) and quite vulnerable… since I attended several of their church sermons I know that they basically teach that William B. is the prophet who came in the spirit of Elijah as written in Malachi the last book of the Old Testament.
However we all know that this prophet was John the Baptist! This church teaches all women to never cut their hair, never wear make up, and only wear long dresses! And of course to remain ultra pure (no handholding or kissing until marriage etc…. all the members think that they are part of the 144,000 that will judge the world at the time of rapture! They also keep away from TV and movie mainstream music, mainstream news, etc. my sister and her husband remained believers for many years and raised six children in this church, and homeschool them all to keep them away from the “world”, and all have left this church except for one daughter. Living this extremely conservative life makes for quite naïve and a very removed social life since they generally only associate with church members… calling each other sister or brother before they say each other’s names such as sister Heidi, Brother Bob… I stopped attending when the pastor at the church told me but I would literally go to hell if I ever left this very specific church!
The churches really do have the “Eagles” all over the place and the members have the eagles & Photos of him in their homes too! I am a born-again Christian and can easily see how William B. Twisted the words written in the Bible…. and of course he wanted followers just like any other pastor would like to have a church follow him…. but he went to the extreme and wanted to deem himself a prophet rather than a pastor. “He who exalts himself shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be exalted!” “judge not lest ye be judged”! If you were truly seeking the Lord and to be filled with the Holy Spirit I am 100% sure you will not be lead to join this absurd cult! And if you are reading this and still in this cult know that I know many people who have left this cult and initially they felt friendless but God will bless & bring you new and better friends… and you can enjoy life and the freedom that God meant for you to have! God Bless you & Know you are loved!☮️✝️
William Marrion Branham: Profile of a False Prophet
While somewhat pejorative, the term Branhamite adequately distinguishes a small sect of Pentecostals dedicated to the life work and mission of William Marrion Branham. Like Apostolics, they embrace holiness and share some of the core doctrines of other Oneness Pentecostals. However, their devotion to Branham and the eccentric ideas that he embraced and propagated places them a world apart from Apostolic orthodoxy.
William Marrion Branham was born on April 6, 1909 to an impoverished young couple in Berksville, Kentucky. Branham claimed that at his birth, a large halo appeared above him and his 15-year-old mother (Dyck 3). This was the first of several “signs” that included angelic voices, heavenly visions, lights, and whirlwinds. This uneducated, self-styled prophet became the leading evangelist in the Healing Movement and developed a large, international following from his base church, Branham Tabernacle, in Jeffersonville, Indiana. His ministry began in his early twenties, and in 1936 he encountered a group of Oneness Pentecostals while vacationing with his wife. While he was impressed by the group’s sincerity and revivalism, he was reluctant to associate himself with “holy rollers”. In 1937, his wife and daughter were killed in the Ohio River flood, and Branham interpreted the loss as a divine punishment for rejecting the Pentecostals (Weaver 34-35).
His healing ministry was precipitated by a purported angelic visit on May 7, 1946. The luminescent messenger informed Branham: “God has sent you to take a gift of divine healing to the people of the world. If you will be sincere, and get the people to believe you, nothing shall stand before your prayer, not even cancer” (qtd. in Weaver 36).
His first healing revival was conducted at Bro. Robert Daugherty’s church in St. Louis. The success of the meeting led to other invitations, and Bro. W.E. Kidson, editor of The Apostolic Herald, began promoting Branham’s ministry, and he enjoyed relative success in many small Apostolic works in the south (Weaver 45).
Bro. Jack Moore, a Oneness pastor from Shreveport, Louisiana, joined the Branham team in 1947, and Gordon Lindsay, a prominent Assemblies of God minister from Ashland, Oregon, paired with Moore in June of that year. This unlikely union made Branham a favorite amongst Oneness and Trinitarian Pentecostals, and several campaigns were held tenuously uniting both factions behind the ministry of William Branham. Bro. Kidson, however, distanced himself from this ecumenical effort and refused to continue advertising Branham’s meetings in his publication.
Branham’s success was primarily attributable to his pinpoint accuracy demonstrated in his meetings. He repeatedly performed feats of incredible discernment, diagnosing diseases and miraculously intimating personal facts. In his first year of ministry, he claimed 35,000 healings (Weaver 47). In the 1950s, Branham traveled the globe holding campaigns in Finland, Norway, Europe, South Africa and India and enjoyed immense acclaim (Weaver 55).
Branham inconsistently emphasized the Oneness doctrines that he embraced. While he held Acts 2:38 to be the plan of salvation, he did not accept speaking in tongues as the sole initial evidence of Spirit baptism. He did, however, strongly advocate the Oneness of the Godhead and baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ. In his treatise An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, he repeatedly castigates trinitarians. He rails against them as believers in “three Gods” calling the doctrine “a gross error” (Branham 18). Concerning the historical move from singular to trine baptism, Branham says: “While the many apostatized and embraced a trinity and baptized using the titles of Godhead, the Little flock still baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ and so held to the truth” (Branham 178-179). Throughout his writings and recorded sermons, he upholds these biblical doctrines.
Unfortunately, Branham also advanced many strange notions.
His reworking of the Genesis account of the Fall stretches beyond all reason. He believed that the two trees in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, were Jesus and Satan respectively (Branham 102). He also taught a doctrine called “Serpent’s seed”, the idea that Eve was seduced by the serpent, an apelike creature, and bore Cain as the descendant of Satan (Branham 98-99). The resulting race mingled with the human line of Seth but bred hypocrisy and wickedness in the world. There exists a dual lineage from Eve, righteous and unrighteous.
The most extreme expression of Identity anti-Semitism is the so-called “two-seed” (or “seedliner”) theory, developed by Wesley Swift (1913-1970), a former Methodist minister from Southern California and key figure in the transformation of British-Israelism into what was increasingly called “Christian Identity” (a religious ideology popular in extreme right-wing circles). According to the two-seed theory, the seduction of Eve by the Serpent in Eden was sexual, Cain was the product of their liaison and Cain, in turn, was the father of the Jewish people; all Jews, therefore, are children of the devil, literally demonic.
The other seedline in the two-seed scheme traces from Adam and Eve’s other son, Abel, through the lost tribes to today’s white European-derived believers…..Naturally, this sick and twisted belief has since drawn out other anti-Semites and their followers, such as “Teacher” Clifton A. Emahiser who ravenously takes on anyone who dares to oppose the “two-seed” theory.
Additionally, Branham believed in the annihilation of the wicked, the ultimate destruction of Satan, and that the earth would be destroyed in an explosion in 1977.
When he died in a tragic car accident in December 1965, his most devoted followers believed that he would resurrect. His wife, who survived the accident, refused to inter her husband and delayed burial until April 11, 1966 (Dyck 6). He is buried in Jeffersonville beneath a large pyramidal stone, with an eagle, Branham’s prophetic symbol, atop it.
William Marrion Branham’s legacy is one of doctrinal confusion and noxious ideas. Any early successes as he moved toward truth are skewed by his gross theological, soteriological, and eschatological errors. As Hoosier Apostolics with a significant amount of Branham’s followers in our State, it is important to recognize the vast differences between Branhamism and Pentecostal truth. The Apostle John warned: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (I Jn. 4.1). This verse is aptly applied to William Marrion Branham, a false prophet and a purveyor of false doctrine.
Branham, William Marrion. An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages. Jeffersonville, IN: Voice of God Recordings, 1965.
Dyck, Carl. William Branham: the Man and His Message. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Western Tract Mission, Inc., 1984.
Weaver, C. Douglas. The Healer-Prophet, William Marrion Branham: a Study of the Prophetic in American Pentecostalism. Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1987.
William Branham’s Bogus Healings
August 21, 2013David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The following was first published in O Timothy magazine, Volume 7, Issue 4, 1990.
The interview with the late Alfred Pohl was conducted February 21, 1990, by David Cloud. While visiting with us for a few days in Washington state, Mr. Pohl, who lived in Canada, agreed to recount his experiences in a healing campaign with William Branham.
At that time, Pohl was a leader in a Pentecostal denomination and a teacher in their Bible college. The duplicity and heresy he witnessed in the Branham healing campaign was a major step toward his leaving Pentecostalism. His book 17 Reasons Why I Left the Tongues Movement is available as a free eBook from http://www.wayoflife.org.
BRANHAM’S LIFE AND BELIEFS
William Branham was an acclaimed Pentecostal healer and prophet who arose from the ranks during the same general period as such other well known Pentecostal figures as Oral Roberts, T.L. Osborn, Jack Coe, Kathryn Kuhlman, and Demos Shakarian. Branham conducted large healing campaigns in America, Canada, and Europe, and was honored as a prophet of God throughout Pentecostalism.
Though dead, Branham is still referred to frequently by Pentecostal leaders and publications, and there are churches, particularly in Canada and Europe, that claim him as their leader.
“The person universally acknowledged as the revival’s ‘father’ and ‘pacesetter’ was William Branham. The sudden appearance of his miraculous healing campaigns in 1946 set off a spiritual explosion in the Pentecostal movement which was to move to Main Street, U.S.A., by the 1950s and give birth to the broader charismatic movement in the 1960s, which currently affects almost every denomination in the country. … ‘Branham filled the largest stadiums and meeting halls in the world.’ … As the pacesetter of the healing revival, Branham was the primary source of inspiration in the development of other healing ministries. He inspired hundreds of ministers to enter the healing ministry and a multitude of evangelists paid tribute to him for the impact he had upon their work. As early as 1950, over 1,000 healing evangelists gathered at a Voice of Healing [the name of Branham’s magazine] convention to acknowledge the profound influence of Branham on the healing movement” (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988, p. 372).
Before we proceed with Alfred Pohl’s interview, we will give a brief overview of Branham’s life from the report, “Latter-day Prophets: The Kansas City Connection,” by Albert James Dager. In brackets we will insert other material which we feel is helpful in understanding Branham:
“William Marion Branham was born April 6, 1909, on a farm near Berksville, Kentucky, U.S.A. At the time of his birth, his mother was fifteen years of age and his dad was eighteen. Something unusual happened the day he was born. A few rays of light shone into the room and a halo, one foot in diameter, appeared above the mother and the baby. As a result of this incident his mother took him to a Baptist church in the community. This was the first and last time he went to church for many years. While William Branham was quite young, his parents moved to a farm near Jeffersonville, Indiana, where “his early life was marked by tragedy, poverty, and misunderstanding” (Carl Dyck, William Branham: The Man and His Message, Saskatoon: Western Tract Mission, 1984, p. 3).
It should also be noted that Branham’s parents believed in fortunetelling and he was burdened through occultism at an early age (Kurt Koch, Between Christ and Satan, p. 150).
In 1948, William Branham, a Baptist preacher turned Pentecostal, incorporated into his own ministry the ideas [Franklin] Hall presented in Atomic Power with God through Fasting and Prayer. Because of his influence over the lives of almost all the “healing revival” preachers that followed after him, Branham proved to be the most influential of Hall’s disciples.
Branham’s followers believed him to be the apostle of the final Church age.
He gained popularity through his teachings on what he called “God’s Seventh Church Age,” which would be the final move of God before the manifestation of His Kingdom on earth. Branham based this teaching on his interpretation of Joel 2:23, which speaks of the latter rain on God’s blessings upon Israel, and applied this latter rain to the neo-pentecostal move of his day. He taught that God’s promise to restore what the locust, cankerworm, caterpillar, and palmerworm had eaten would be the restoration of the Church out of denominationalism, which he equated with the Mark of the Beast.
Branham is said to have exhibited remarkable healing power [we will see from Pohl’s interview that this was a sham], and the ability to give accurate words of knowledge about people whom he had never met. [The latter is soothsaying, which is occultic.]
From a very early age it was evident that supernatural power accompanied Branham’s life. When he was three years of age [other accounts give the age as two and seven], he first heard “the Voice.” This disembodied Voice told him that he was never to drink, smoke, or defile his body in any way, for he was being groomed for work at a later date (William Branham, My Life Story, Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, undated, p. 24).
The Voice accompanied Branham throughout his lifetime, and eventually made itself known as an angel. This angel directed him in every aspect of his personal life, and it was the angel rather than the Holy Spirit to whom Branham gave credit for his power (Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance, Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1972, p. 50).
Branham knew that if he didn’t do what the Voice told him to do, he would suffer greatly.
[The angel supposedly appeared during a 1933 baptismal service in the Ohio River at Jeffersonville, Indiana, and said to Branham: “As John the Baptist foreran the first coming of Christ, you will forerun His Second Coming” (In the Days of the Voice of the 7th Angel, Edmonton: End Time Message Tabernacle, p. 53).]
Branham propagated what he called the “Serpent’s Seed” teaching: the belief that Cain was produced through a sexual union between Eve and the serpent in the garden. The curse of the Serpent’s Seed, he believed, continues to plague mankind through women, and is evidenced in their temptation of men (Branham, My Life Story, p. 19).
[This strange teaching is stated as follows by one of Branham’s disciples: “Eve’s eating was adultery with the serpent, Proverbs 30:20. Remember, he was not a snake at this point. That curse came after the act. … It was not an apple that caused Adam and Eve to realize they were naked. But it was a sex act. … The serpent was an upright handsome creature. He was, in fact, ‘the missing link’ that science even in their unspiritual wisdom, can see is missing ‘between man and monkey.’ … Satan used this creature to get himself into the Human race” (Was it an Apple? Lima, Oh: Bible Believers of Lima).]
[Branham believed that some humans are descended from the serpent’s seed and are destined for hell, which is not eternal, however. The seed of God, i.e., those who receive Branham’s teaching, are predestined to become the Bride of Christ. There are still others who possess free will and who may be saved out of the denominational churches, but they must suffer through the Great Tribulation. He considered denominationalism a mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:17) (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, pp. 95, 96).]
Another of Branham’s teachings was that the Zodiac and the Egyptian pyramids were equal to the Scriptures in the revelation of God’s Word (Branham, Adoption, Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, pp. 31, 104).
[Branham denied the Trinity, and required that believers baptized by a Trinitarian formula be rebaptized in the name of “Jesus only” (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, pp. 95, 96). In a sermon entitled “The Way of a True Prophet,” Branham stated this view as follows: “Why don’t you examine your baptism of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and that false ‘trinity’ it’s so-called, which is nothing in the world but three offices of one God, titles. No, name of Father, there’s no such a thing as name, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost–Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which is the Lord Jesus Christ” (In the Days of the Voice of the 7th Angel, p. 41).]
[Branham proclaimed himself the angel of Revelation 3:14 and 10:7 and predicted that by 1977 all denominations would be consumed by the World Council of Churches under the control of the Roman Catholics, that the Rapture would take place, and that the world would be destroyed (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, p. 96). Branham predicted that by 1977 all denominations would be consumed by the World Council of Churches under the control of Rome and the Rapture and the end of the world would take place (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, first edition, p. 96). He said, “At–at least, this great nation is going to strike a war that’s going to blow it to bits” (Branham, The Laodician Church Age, Dec. 11, 1960, Jefferson, Indiana, audio tape).]
Although many Pentecostals overlooked these and other false prophecies and aberrant teachings and embraced him as an apostle and a prophet, his popularity declined in the late ’50s due to his attempt to establish his proclamations as equal to Scripture. Even the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International [FGBMFI], which had supported Branham and given him an open forum at their meetings, began to move away from him, although some local chapters continued to use him as a speaker.
In spite of Branham’s denial of the Trinity, and his aberrant teachings on immortalization, on the restoration of the Church and on the offices of apostles and prophets, Demos Shakarian [founder of FGBMFI] wrote, “Rev. Branham often made the statement that the only Fellowship to which he belonged was FGBMFI. Often, when called upon to speak at various conventions and chapter meetings, he has traveled long distances to keep those engagements. His spirit of service was an inspiration” (David E. Harrell, Jr., All Things Are Possible, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1976, p. 161).
Branham was injured in a head-on collision while on a trip to Arizona and passed away six days later [on December 24, 1965]. Many of his followers believed that he had truly come in the spirit of Elijah; some believed him to be God, born of a virgin, and fully expected him to rise from the dead in three days (Ibid.).
To date, William Branham’s body is still in the grave. But his occult healing methodology was picked up by hundreds of others upon whom he had laid his hands for transference of the spirit that worked through him. These included almost all the major names who operated as “healing” evangelists during that time, and who are still at work today. They took Branham’s mantle through the period known as the Latter Rain.
The previous report, except for the parts within brackets, is from Albert James Dager, Latter-day Prophets: The Kansas City Connection, Media Spotlight.
We believe it is important to say more about Branham’s angel and the supernatural powers that influenced his life. As has been noted, from early childhood Branham experienced voices and visions. Consider the following quotes from his testimony:
“I was crying, and all at once I heard something making a noise like a whirlwind, something like this going ‘Whoooosssh, whooooossssh,’ just a noise like that. Well, it was awful quiet, and I looked around. And you know what, a little whirlwind, I believe you call them a little cyclone. And I was under a great white popular tree, stood about halfway between the barn and the house. And I heard that noise. … And I got just few feet from that, out from under the branches of this big tree, and, oh, my, it made a whirl sounding. And I turned to look and about halfway up that tree was another whirlwind, caught in that tree just a-going around and around, moving those leaves. … So I watched, but it didn’t leave off. Usually it’s just a puff for a moment, then it goes, but it had already been in there two minutes or more.
“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! You could imagine how a little fellow felt. I dropped those buckets, and home I went just as hard as I could go, screaming at the top of my voice. …
“Well, I told that to Mama, and–and she just laughed at me. And I was just hysterical. She called the doctor, and the doctor said, ‘Well, he’s just nervous, that’s all.’ So she put me to bed. And I never, from that day to this, ever passed by that tree again. I was scared. I’d go down the other side of the garden, because I thought there was a man up in that tree and He was talking to me, great deep Voice that spoke” (William Branham, My Life Story, Edmonton: End Time Message Tabernacle, pp. 14-15);
This was the beginning of Branham’s experience in the supernatural, and he claimed that this voice followed him the rest of his life and was the voice which controlled his healing ministry. Years later Branham was baptizing in the Ohio River and claims that the voice spoke again:
“I was baptizing down on the river, my first converts, at the Ohio River … 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 Christ, you’ve got a Message that will bring forth the forerunning of the Second Coming of Christ.’ And it liked to a-scared me to death.
“And I went back, and all the people there … they asked me, said, ‘What did that Light mean?’
“A big group of colored people from the–the Gilead Age Baptist church and the Lone Star church down there, and many of those was down there, they began screaming when they saw that happen, people fainted” (William Branham, How the Angel Came to Me, and His Commission, Edmonton: End Time Message Tabernacle, p. 18).
Branham was bothered by the many visitations and repeatedly prayed that God would take them away. Finally the voice appeared to him in bodily form and gave him a commission to heal:
“And then all along down through life I’d see that, see that moving, see that visions, how those things would happen. Then, a little later on, It kept bothering me so much, and everybody telling me It was wrong. … No matter how much I’d keep praying for That not to come, It come anyhow….
“I was game warden in the State of Indiana. … I said, ‘Honey, I can’t go on like this, I’m a prisoner.’ I said, ‘All the time, when this thing keeps happening, and things like that, and these visions a-coming, and so forth like that, or whatever it is.’ I said, ‘Them trances like,’ I said, ‘I don’t know what that is. And, honey, I- I-I-I don’t want to fool with it, they–they tell me it’s the Devil. And I love the Lord Jesus.’
“And I said, ‘Meda [his wife], I’ll never come out of that woods until God promises me He’ll take that thing away from me and never let it happen again.’ …
“And I went up there that night and went back in the little old cabin floor. … Where I used to trap when I was a boy, had a trap line through there and go up there and fish and stay all night. Just a little old dilapidated cabin sitting over there … And I set down on this little stool. And I just sitting, oh, kind of in this position, just like that.
“And, all at once, I seen a Light flicker in the room. And I thought somebody was come up with a flashlight. And I looked around, and I thought, ‘Well …’ And here It was, right out in front of me. And old wooden boards on the floor. And there It was, right in front of me. And a little old drum stove sitting in the corner, the top was tore out of it. And–and right in here there was a–a Light on the floor, and I thought, ‘Well, where’s that? Well, that couldn’t be coming.’
“I looked around. And here It was above me, this very same Light, right there above me, hanging right like that. Circling around like a fire, kind of an emerald color, going, ‘Whoossh, whoossh, whoossh!’ like that, just above It, like that. And I looked at That, and I thought, ‘What is That?’ Now, It scared me.
“And I heard somebody coming, just walking, only it was barefooted. And I seen the foot of a Man come in. Dark in the room, all but right here where It was shining right down. And I seen the foot of a Man coming in. And when He come into the room, walked on up, He was a Man about … looked to weigh about two hundred pounds. [Branham also described him as dark of complexion, with shoulder length hair.] He had His hands folded like this.
“Now, I had seen It in a Whirlwind, I had heard It talk to me, and seen It in the form of a Light, but the first time I ever seen the image of It. It walked up to me, real close.
“Well, honest friends, I–I thought my heart would fail me. … Cause after hundreds and hundreds of times of visitations, it paralyzes me when He comes near. It sometimes it even makes me … I almost completely pass out, just so weak when I leave the platform many times. If I stay too long, I’ll go completely out. I’ve had them ride me around for hours, not even know where I was at. And I can’t explain it. …
“So I was sitting there and looking at Him. I–I kind of had my hand up like that. He was looking right at me, just as pleasant. But He had a real deep Voice, and He said, ‘Do not fear. I am sent from the Presence of Almighty God.’ And when He spoke, that Voice, that was the same Voice that spoke to me when I was two years old, all the way up. I knowed that was Him.
“He said, ‘I am sent from the Presence of Almighty God, to tell you that your peculiar birth’ (as you know what my birth was up there; that same Light hung over me when I was first born). And so He said, ‘Your peculiar birth and misunderstood life has been to indicate that you’re to go to all the world and pray for the sick people.’ And said, ‘And regardless of what they have … if you get the people to believe you, and be sincere when you pray, nothing shall stand before your prayers, not even cancer.’
“And He said, ‘As the prophet Moses was given two gifts, signs to vindicate his ministry, so will you be given two.’ He said, ‘One of them will be that you’ll take the person that you’re praying for by the hand, with your left hand and their right,’ and said, ‘then just stand quiet, and there’ll be a physical effect that’ll happen on your body. Then you pray. And if it leaves, the disease is gone from the people. If it doesn’t leave, just ask a blessing and walk away.’
“He said, ‘And the next thing will be, if they won’t hear that, then they will hear this. Then it’ll come to pass that you’ll know the very secret of their heart. This they will hear.’
“He said, ‘You were born in this world for that purpose’” (William Branham, How the Angel Came to Me, and His Commission, Edmonton: End Time Message Tabernacle, pp. 18-22).
We don’t believe these visitations were of the Lord. Note the fear that the voice caused in young Branham, and the turmoil and confusion and fear that it caused in his life from then on. The Bible says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” (1 Cor. 14:33).
In the Bible, when God or angels spoke to or appeared to men, it is true that they often were afraid. But God always calmed the fears of those who were visited, and there were not lingering fear and turmoil because of the visitations. We do not believe that the Lord would have allowed Branham to continue in the suffocating kind of fear that he experienced from the visitations. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
Another evidence of the demonic nature of Branham’s visitations is the legalistic bondage that accompanied them. The devil is a slave master. The Lord Jesus Christ sets the captives free. Branham never did experience the liberty of conscience and action that Christ gives. He lived in fear and acted under a compulsive-type behavior associated with demonic oppression.
We have quoted Branham’s own statement about being a prisoner to the visitations. Consider Branham’s painful, servile relationship with the angel:
“One evening, just before a meeting, Branham told his interpreter, ‘Don’t stand to the right of me because my angel stands there.’ Branham described the angel as a well-built man, dark hair with folded arms. The angel supposedly stood next to Branham, and what the angel said, he had to obey.
“Branham said that the angel was with him day and night and without him he had no authority in his preaching. In fact, he could not even decide things in his own private life. In his healing, Branham was always told by the angel who to heal and who not to. Once an interpreter asked Branham, ‘Do you think your power to heal people comes from the Holy Spirit?’ ‘No,’ Branham replied, ‘my angel does it.’ Kurt Koch confirms ‘the fact that Branham’s angel was a spiritistic rather than a divine angel.’ He relates a story about a woman whose brother-in-law, in spite of being a minister, was involved in occultism, spiritistic meetings and magic. When Branham first was introduced to him, Branham spontaneously said, ‘You look exactly like the angel which appears to me every day.’ The weird, spiritistic minister frightened Christians who knew him” (Carl Dyck, William Branham: The Man and His Message, Saskatoon: Western Tract Mission, 1984, p. 16).
We believe Branham was influenced by demonic spirits. The bondage in which he lived was an occultic bondage. His powers were those of a soothsayer.
His healing powers were occultic. The voices that tormented him, the vibrations and swellings in his hand, the lights, the fiery balls that supposedly danced about the room during some of his healing crusades, the complete exhaustion he experienced after his meetings–all of this is evidence of occultic powers. And this is what men of God tried to warn him of. In fact, when Branham met fortunetellers, they even told him that he was influenced by their kind of supernatural powers:
“What made me more scared than ever, every time I met a fortuneteller, they would recognize something had happened. And that would just … it just nearly killed me.
“For instance, one day my cousins and I was going down through a carnival ground, and we was just boys, walking along. So there was a little old fortuneteller sitting out there in one of those tents. … She said, ‘Say, you, come here a minute!’ And the three of us boys turned around. And she said, ‘You with the striped sweater’ (that was me). …
“And I walked up, I said, ‘Yes, ma’am, what could I do for you?’
“And she said, ‘Say, did you know there’s a Light that follows you? You were born under a certain sign.’
“I said, ‘What do you mean?’
“She said, ‘Well, you were born under a certain sign. There’s a Light that follows you. You were born for a Divine call’” (William Branham: The Man and His Message, pp. 22-23).
Branham tells of other instances in which soothsayers told him similar things. He said, “And every time I get around one of them, that’s the way it would be.” Then the preachers, saying, “That’s the Devil! That’s the Devil!” (Ibid. p. 25).
This is a sad story. It is too bad that Branham did not listen to the wise voices which were warning him that the visitations were demonic. It is too bad that Branham did not listen to his own fears and his own conscience which caused him to want to escape the visitations. It is too bad that Branham did not listen to the Bible. As it turns out, he did not listen to wisdom. Instead he allowed the demonic powers to control his life, and he, in turn, led multitudes of other people into all sorts of error and confusion.
WILLIAM BRANHAM HEALING MEETING: EYEWITNESS REPORT
By A.H. Pohl
O TIMOTHY: Can you tell me, Bro. Pohl, where and when the Branham meeting was held?
POHL: It was in the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in the 40’s, because we left in ’50. It was in the 40s when Branham came to Saskatoon for a healing campaign, and I was involved in it very, very much, because at that time we had a Bible Institute right beside the church where the healing campaign was conducted. I was on staff at the Bible Institute and as such I had responsibility in taking care of all the worst cases, the stretcher cases, and the people that could not walk, coming to the church and going to the healing line. These came into the dorm of the Bible Institute where I was responsible and placed them in the rooms for the time while they’re waiting for Branham to come to minister to them.
So, I was very closely involved with Branham in this. When the meetings were over, like when the meeting was over in the church, I would take Mr. Branham by the arm and lead him from room to room in this dorm, which was just adjacent to the church, and he would pray for these people. And then, when I had taken him into every room, met every patient, then I’d lead him to the back door, and he would be gone, go to his hotel. His brother was out there with the car, picked him up and took him to the hotel. And he was gone. All day, all that night, next day.
He gave orders–at least orders were given that no one was suppose to contact him at the hotel. And, he’d come an hour late, half an hour late the next night to the meeting. Say if the meeting started at 7:00, he’d be there about 7:30. The meeting was already in progress when he arrived. I guess that was part of procedure, but no one–with those circumstances–nobody could really visit with him, or talk to him, or get acquainted with him.
I was the only one that really could have an opportunity to talk to him, and that was when we were going from room to room, side by side, in the dorm. It was quite an experience.
O TIMOTHY: The denomination you were involved with then was what?
POHL: Apostolic Church of Pentecost of Canada, Incorporated.
O TIMOTHY: Okay. Now, he would have the meetings and then have a healing line right before he went into the dorm?
POHL: Right, right. There was always the preaching meeting, and then the healing line, the prayer line, and then of course, I took him into the dorm, to go to all the stretcher cases, and so forth.
O TIMOTHY: Now, did many claim to be healed, or did it seem that many were healed in the meeting?
POHL: In the meetings? Ah, yes, there were those that claimed to be healed, and there were those people that thought they saw healings, or thought they saw miracles. But, when you were on the inside, you saw that some of those things that were supposed to be miracles, were not miracles at all. From the outside, you would think that something had really happened; but having been right close to Branham, and working right with him, I discovered that a lot of those supposed healings or miracles were really not miracles after all.
O TIMOTHY: Okay. As you took him through the dorm, he prayed for different individuals. What did he say during those encounters with the individuals?
POHL: Well, one of the things he did was to take the hand of the person, and quite often I heard him say that the angel that gave him this gift told him that to identify certain diseases–and he would speak of cancer very much–there are vibrations that he felt on his hand that indicate that this person has cancer. So he would take the patient’s hand and hold it. He would say, “Yes, the vibrations tell me that you have cancer.” Then he’d say something like this, “We’re going to pray for you, that the Lord will heal you.” And he proceeded to do this. Then he went on, and when he was through praying, he would take that hand again or else he would hold the hand throughout the prayer, and he would say, “The vibrations are gone. The cancer is dead. You are healed.”
And the person would rejoice, of course; so would I. I thoroughly believed in Branham, I thought he was God’s man and so forth, and we wanted to see people healed. So [supposedly] the cancer was dead, and we were happy about this.
But then he had a little added statement there, and that was something like this, “Now, just keep on trusting the Lord. You’re healed. Don’t loose your faith in the Lord. Just keep your faith and trust the Lord, and you’re healed.” He said, “You’re going to be sick for a while. You’re going to be quite sick for a few days.” Quite often he referred to three days. “You’re going to be very sick for three days.”
The people often asked, “Well, what do you mean, Brother Branham? If I’m healed, why should I be sick?”
He said, “The cancer, the cancerous growth which is now dead inside your body has to be carried out by the blood stream. And it’s waste material; it has to be carried out; it’s poison material, and so you’ll be sick for quite awhile until that is carried away.”
But what happened then was this: that in the meantime the people wouldn’t worry about it.
They’d say, “Well, that’s what Branham said would happen. I’m healed.”
But this went on, till some of these people got sicker and sicker and died.
So he had an out. By this time he was gone [from that place].
O TIMOTHY: Right. So there were many that he proclaimed healed?
POHL: Yes, yes. Practically every one as I recall, standing beside these various bedsides–practically everyone was pronounced healed. But the tragedy is that so many of those died after Branham was gone. So there was something wrong.
He also said, “Don’t let your faith fail.” In other words he emphasized that point. “Don’t let your faith fail.” And his out was this, I’m sure, that when they died, well, “Their faith failed.”
It wasn’t his faith, it was their faith. In other words, it was the patient’s faith, which I don’t see that in Scripture. When the Lord healed people, they were healed. And there wasn’t such a thing as “You’ll be sick for five days, or three days,” and so, “don’t lose your faith.” I don’t see that in Scripture.
O TIMOTHY: There was a newspaper that tried to investigate the healings. Can you tell me something about that? What were they able to confirm as far as healings?
POHL: Yes, in Winnipeg. Branham came to Canada at that time and he preached at a number of Apostolic churches in Canada. The first church was the church of our moderator in Winnipeg, who brought him into Canada. And Mr.
Branham had his campaign there. Then he came later on to Saskatoon.
When the campaign was in progress in Winnipeg, the newspaper (one of the large city newspapers) was giving considerable coverage to the meetings, and they indicated that there were a lot of people healed. They were favorable to this church, and advertised it and gave news reports that quite a few people were healed. But later on that same editor sent out some reporters to check on some of these people that they had written up in the paper weeks before. [The reporters were] to check up and see whether these people who were supposedly healed at that time, were still healed, were still alive, or whatever.
And when these reporters went back, they discovered that these people had died, or were in the same state or in a worse state than they were before. So, the editor then put it in the paper that these cases had turned out to be phonies, and that these people weren’t healed after all. And there was something wrong with these so-called miracles and healings.
But when the pastor of the church saw these reports in the paper, he went to the editor rather disturbed and not very happy about the situation, and he confronted the editor: “Why do you do this to our church? You’re hurting the reputation of our church, and you shouldn’t do that to us.”
And the editor said words something to this effect, “Well, pastor, if the healings are genuine, you don’t have to worry, do you?”
And I thought to myself later on when I heard this, well, that editor certainly had a lot of common sense, because if they’re genuine, why worry? If they’re not, well then they should be exposed–which is what the paper did.
And the editor said, “Pastor, we gave you good coverage when Mr. Branham was here.” The pastor had to admit they did. “Now,” he said, “we owe it to our people to give them the rest of the story.” And he said, “That’s what we found.” He said to the pastor, “I’ll tell you what I’ll do, if you can bring me one genuine case of a genuine healing, I’ll give you the front page.”
And I was told right in that pastor’s home that they couldn’t find one.
O TIMOTHY: Not one?
POHL: Not one.
O TIMOTHY: I understand there was a radio pastor whose wife supposedly was healed, and also a man with four students in the college. Could you tell me about those two?
POHL: Oh, yes. Yes. The first one I would relate to is a man from a little place near Regina, Saskatchewan. He and his wife were staunch Christians in our denomination. Very fine family. They had four children, and they were all attending our Bible school at that time, in which I was on staff. We knew these children very well–such very fine children, and young people, and a very fine family.
One day during the healing campaign, the phone rang in our dorm and I answered it in our office there, and here was this man phoning from the airport. He’d flown his wife in from near Regina, and he said, “We’re here. We want Branham to pray for my wife. She’s dying of cancer. What shall we do?”
Well, I said, “Bring her down to the Bible school dorm.” And he knew very well where that was. I said, “I’ll meet you at the south door, and we’ll put her in a room, and I’ll see that Branham prays for her.”
Which he did, and after the meeting that night we proceeded to take Branham from room to room, and of course we had her in mind very much. And we brought him into her room, and the husband was there, too. Branham prayed for her and pronounced her healed.
Well, there was great rejoicing on the part of all of us. We really were rejoicing that the Lord had healed this woman. [We were rejoicing] for the sake of the whole family. He had given them this story, of course, that “she’s still going to be sick, though she’s healed; she’s going to feel pretty bad.” So, they flew back as soon as they could. They wouldn’t stay around. We didn’t have the facilities to take care of sick people there. There was just a dormitory, and so they went back as soon as they could.
About 10 to 14 days later, in that time frame, I was sitting in the office in the Bible school. Branham was gone; the meetings were over. The door opened to the main building, and I could hear footsteps, then a knock on the office door. In came this gentleman. Of course I recognized him immediately, but I saw that his face was very downcast; he was really under pressure and a heavy burden. So I invited him to sit down, and I said, “Brother,” I said, “what’s on your heart?” And he said, “Brother Pohl, you were standing beside my wife when she was sick in one of the rooms in the dorm. Mr. Branham prayed for her, and he pronounced her healed.”
I said, “Yes, I was right there.” He said, “Tell me, how is it that my wife who was healed ten days ago, [somewhere in that time frame], is now in the grave?” He said, “Tell me, how that can be?”
Well, it really hit him hard, and it hit me hard too, because that’s the first I heard that she had died. We hadn’t heard that she had died. So here he was all broken up and he wanted an explanation. What could I tell him? I think that’s one of the hardest questions I’ve ever had to answer in my life. Why is she dead, if she was healed? And I was witness. He couldn’t figure this out, a very fine Christian, and I felt for him.
To this day I don’t know what I said, but I know we wept together and we prayed together. I could have said this: “Brother, your faith failed, or your wife’s faith failed.”
What help would I have been to him? I mean, that’s a terrible thing to do.
I wouldn’t dare say that to him, to anyone. He was broken. He had enough to burden him down at this stage without saying, “Your faith failed you.” That was the wrong thing to say, so I didn’t say it.
I could have said that, because that’s the feeling behind a lot of these cases. The healer will say, well “Your faith failed, and it’s not my fault.”
But, I don’t see that that is the case in Scripture either–where people’s faith failed, and they lost their healing after God healed, or the Lord healed them, or the Apostles healed them. So, it’s ridiculous.
Anyway, he left then, and of course we prayed for him, and so on. But it really was a difficult blow to this man and his family.
Then the other party was–I recall so well–was a pastor from Port Arthur, Ontario, which is now called Thunderbay, Ontario. (They combined two cities, Port Arthur and Port William.]
This man was a pentecostal pastor, had a radio broadcast and, I understand, quite a sizable church. He flew his wife in and the nurse to Saskatoon which was quite a trip–quite costly. And again I had the phone call from the airport and placed them in a room there eventually in the dorm. And when the meeting was over, and the prayer line was over in the church, I brought Branham into the dorm and he prayed for this lady as well. He prayed also for the nurse. The nurse was deaf. He prayed for her healing, and claimed that she was healed. He also claimed that the pastor’s wife was healed of cancer.
Well, there was great rejoicing. Let me tell you, we rejoiced together, because I thoroughly believed in Branham all this time, I thought he was just … just it. He was God’s man. We rejoiced together, and then Branham left. And the husband (the pastor) said to me, “Now, Brother Pohl,” he said, “I’ve spent thousands of dollars to try to get help for my wife, on doctors, and this and that and the other, medicines.” He said, “I really can’t afford it, but here”– and he wrote out a sizable check. He said, “I can’t afford it, but Branham is worth it.” He said, “My wife is healed.”
He took Branham at his word. See, it wasn’t anything else; he just believed Branham. And here was this sizable check. He said, “Give it to Branham.” Which I did, the next day.
Later on, about three, four weeks later, I left for Ontario. I was missionary secretary of our denomination, and I visited some of our churches in Ontario. And in the process of visiting our churches, I came to Port Arthur, Port William. We had a church in Port William, and one of the first things I did when I got to Port William was to ask the pastors, “What about pastor so and so in Port Arthur?” I named him. I said, “How’s his wife doing?” I said, “She was healed in the meetings in Saskatoon.”
And I saw a strange look that came over their faces as I asked that question. And I thought in my heart, “Oh, no, not another one.” Just like the family I was telling you about in Saskatoon, from Regina. And I said in my heart, “No, not another one.”
And they said, “Haven’t you heard, haven’t you heard? She’s dead. She passed away.”
Well that was another blow to me, because I began to realize that something was wrong with this kind of healing. This was counterfeit; something was drastically wrong. Of all people, here was a pastor who loved the Lord and served the Lord, and, you know, why did this happen? Did his faith fail?
Did his wife’s faith fail? He had a whole church behind him. But no, she passed away.
I was told that the worst thing was that this man (the pastor) had a very good radio broadcast in the area. He went on the air as soon as he got home, and he announced that they had been to Saskatoon to the Branham meetings and had wonderful meetings there, and there were many healings, and amongst them his wife was gloriously healed in those meetings.
I’m sure that many people rejoiced, were happy to hear that. But, it wasn’t very long after that, a few days later, he had to get on the same radio station and mention the fact that his wife had passed away. And I was told that that gave his radio program a severe blow and setback, because the world at large–I mean they think too, they’re not stupid–here one day she was gloriously healed, and a few days later she’s dead. You know, this doesn’t add up.
We had more of those cases–these are just two exceptional ones–but there were others that passed away. I stood beside bed after bed, person after person who was pronounced healed and yet, where were they? They passed away. So there was something very wrong with this type of healing.
O TIMOTHY: In the meetings inside the main auditorium, Branham mentioned his angel different times, you said. Could you tell me about the incident with the spots on the hand, and then the secret words that he mentioned?
POHL: Oh, yes. This happened in the church, in one of the prayer lines, the healing lines. I was standing right beside Branham, beside his left arm, and our moderator was standing on his right hand. And we were helping him with these people coming by, praying with them and so on.
And in one case, Branham took the hand of a man, grabbed his hand and then lifted it up in the air and showed the back of his hand toward the audience. And he said this, “The angel that gave me this gift,”–he talked quite a bit about that angel that gave him the gift–“told me that in (a certain sickness–I forget which it was) spots will appear on the back of my hand.”
And as he held this man’s hand out and showed the back of his hand toward the audience, he said, “Folks, can you see the spots on my hand?”
Would you believe hands went up all over that auditorium and even in the back of the auditorium (people were standing; the place was jammed). And in the balcony way back there you could hardly see his hand, let alone see spots on his hand. It was way back there, and people had their hands up!
Back there in the gallery, and the balcony, and way at the back at the door. They could see spots! It was just something else, and I said to myself, “How can these people see those spots?”
They could hardly see his hand, you know, it’s too far away. But people were holding up their hands. It was amazing. And I when I think back to this now, it seems to have been a form of mass hypnotism. People see what they want to see; they wanted to see spots, because they believed in Branham, and there they were and they could all see spots.
Excepting two of us. First of all, myself. I was standing right beside him. I was touching him, shoulder to shoulder. And I looked, and for the life of me I couldn’t see any spots. There were no spots.
And you know how I resolved that little problem? I said to myself, “Look, all these people can see spots. And I can’t. There’s something wrong with me. They can’t all be out of tune with God. I’m the one that’s backslidden.” And I said to myself, “I’m going to talk to you later,” and “there’s something wrong with you.”
Really, I was so sincere about this thing. I believed in Branham so much that I felt I was out of step with God. And so I said, “Okay, I’m going to talk to myself later.”
And then the healing went on, and the prayer line ended finally, and I led Branham into the dorm again, and into the various rooms. When it was all over, I came back into church and here were quite a few people yet, visiting, standing around. It was quite an exciting time. And lo and behold, the moderator, who stood on the other side of Branham that night, said, “Brother Pohl, I want to ask you something.”
“What is it?”
He said, “You were standing right beside Branham tonight when he held up this man’s hand, and people could see spots.”
And then that thought came back to me, “Oh, yeah, that’s right. I was the one that didn’t see the spots.”
So, I said, “Yes, I was right there. And you were on the other side on the right.”
He said, “Tell me, did you see any spots on the back of his hand?” And I said, “No, I didn’t see any spots.” He said, “I didn’t either. I didn’t either. And we were right there.”
He said, “Tell me something. How is it that you and I who were standing right beside him couldn’t see the spots, and all those people back there, way back there, could see spots?”
Well, how do you answer that? He was our moderator. That made me feel so much better, because I found out that he was backslidden too, and not me only, see what I mean! I had felt I had been backslidden because I couldn’t see those spots. But here’s our moderator.
“We’re in trouble; our moderator’s backslidden, too, huh?”
That’s how I reasoned. So I felt much better because I knew I wasn’t the only one, that our brother moderator couldn’t see any spots either. And I thought, “Well, there’s something wrong here, there’s something wrong with this whole procedure.”
Alright, that’s the one thing, and then we came to the last meeting. The last meeting was in the Saskatoon arena. We were crowded out in the church, it was just packed. We couldn’t get the people in. So the last Sunday afternoon we had rented the arena downtown. I think there were approximately three thousand people there. And I’m sure there were people from all over and from every part of the spectrum of Saskatoon.
He preached of course, Branham preached, and [there was] a long prayer line, very long. There were scores of people that wanted to be prayed for.
So Branham was getting pretty tired, praying for one after the other. And he was trying to cast a deaf and dumb spirit out of this woman. He prayed and nothing happened. At least to him, nothing happened. And then we just waited a bit, and then he said, “Folks,” he said, “I want every eye closed this time. I’m going to pray again. We want this woman healed.” He said, “I want every eye closed.” And he said, “I can’t do this unless every eye is closed.”
At this time I was standing right in front of Branham with the person he was praying for between us … Branham on the little platform there and the person between us he was praying for. I was, say, six feet from Branham, five or six feet from him.
And while I was waiting for him to finish up praying for this lady, he asked the people, “Please close your eyes.” He was going to pray for her the second time, which he did. And once again he said, “This woman can’t be healed like this. Somebody is still looking.” He said, “I want every eye closed.”
Now I thought the reason was in reverence to God, respect to God, wanting prayer answered, and so on; but here he came out with something else. “The reason that I want every eye closed is that the angel that gave me this gift gave me some words that I must say to cast off this deaf and dumb spirit; and I’m not suppose to reveal those words to any human being.”
He said, “The reason I ask you to close your eyes is so you will not read my lips when I say those words.”
Well, you know, when he said that–and I’m right in front of him, no mistaking, I heard this; I was so close to him.; I wasn’t way back in the audience, or anything; I’m right there–I said to myself, “Wait a minute.
What is this?”
Publicly he said, “In the name of Jesus Christ, I command thee, thou foul, deaf and dumb spirit, come out of this woman.” You know, he said it really loud, and with authority, but in the name of Jesus Christ. But that didn’t do it. Obviously there was something else that was needed. And under his breath he said–well, you name it, whatever it was, something like “hocus, pocus”, something that was given to him that was superior to the name of Jesus Christ, in his line of thinking.
This is what the angel told him. And this is the only thing that would do the job.
Well, when he said that, that just hit me so hard. I said to myself, “There’s something wrong here. Is there anything greater than the name of Jesus Christ?” What can be greater? To me, the name of Jesus Christ is all powerful, it is the authority, the final authority. There’s nothing greater. And here he had something else that was greater. The name of Jesus Christ didn’t do it; he had to go resort to some other statements, some hocus pocus stuff that did the job.
Well, immediately I said within myself that this is occultism, this is spiritism, this is witchcraft, this is not Christian. It can’t be. If the name of Jesus Christ doesn’t do it, then it’s something else. And that’s what it was. So I became very suspicious.
And when people began to die one after another–people whose beds I had stood beside, and he had pronounced them healed–I said to myself, “Well, that just proves these healings were fake. They’re not genuine. This is not in the name of Christ.”
He was deceiving the people with the name of Jesus Christ, but underneath his breath there was something else. And he didn’t want us to read his lips. Now I never looked. I don’t think I could read his lips anyway, I’m not even used to doing that. He was so careful that nobody would read lips.
O TIMOTHY: Maybe at this point someone would be convinced that William Branham was a deceiver, but they might be thinking that maybe he was a small off-beat character in the pentecostal movement, and maybe this was an isolated sort of incident and not very widespread. What would you say about that?
POHL: No, Branham was well known. I don’t know how many places he visited in total, but I know some of the men who accompanied him in the meetings.
He had two men with him, besides his younger brother, and they would tell us fabulous stories of great miracles that happened here, there, and everywhere in the States. I also understand that he was over in Africa and had a great ministry over there. Branham is well-known yet in many parts of our country. I don’t know about in the States, but I know just last week we heard of two churches right here in southern British Columbia that are Branhamite churches.
And I had a letter from a man just last week from Saskatchewan, and he said his relatives are into Branhamite teaching, and they are linked to a Branham church, and he said he’s having such a problem because they are trying to influence his teenage children to become Branhamites. Now, that’s in Saskatchewan. And he said, “Have you got any literature, any more literature, any help that I could turn to?” He said, “We need something like that.”
There are several other churches in Saskatchewan that I know of, and I know there are two right here in Southern B.C. There is also a church up at White Horse, in the Yukon. I had some people come down to see me in order to talk to me about Branham from up there. I had to do some counseling with a young couple from up there. It’s not just an isolated thing. His tapes and his books are very well circulated, very well. I’ve met people all over the place that are Branhamites. Had them even attend my meetings.
O TIMOTHY: I understand Branham was also widely accepted by charismatic leaders and is still well-known as a famous charismatic healer.
POHL: Yes, I know our denomination accepted him; I can’t figure out why they didn’t get wise to it; they should have. Our moderator should have recognized it when he couldn’t see the spots, and I couldn’t see them. He should have recognized there’s something wrong. He should have recognized, too, when he dealt with the editor of the newspaper in Winnipeg, when he couldn’t produce one genuine case. But still, even after that he let Branham go through our churches throughout western Canada.
To me, it was ridiculous. That’s another thing that made me leave the denomination, because I said that I cannot stay in a denomination that is dishonest like that. That isn’t honesty.
The moderator knew that something was wrong, but he didn’t do a thing about it. The only thing I could do, then, was to get out. That’s why we left the denomination. …
Strangely enough, a missionary who is working in a radio station in France came to see me in Three Hills and wanted all the information I could give him on Branham. I said, “Why?” Well, he said, “We get letters from North Africa,”–it’s a Christian radio station–“and people are writing about Branham. We get converts over there, and we don’t know what we’re dealing with.”
He said, “There’s nothing on Branham in books or anything like that.” He said, “Give us all the help you can. I understand you were working with Branham in the healing campaign and know a little bit about him.”
So I gave him all I could, but at that time there were no books on Branham. Now there is. There is a book now, that has come out in the last eight or ten years, quite a sizable book, and it’s good. It comes out of Saskatoon.
This man wrote about Branham, and he quotes from my book as well, and he gets some very good information that people can use now, and I’ve been mailing that book out. In fact I sold one last week to some other people that have been involved with Branham right here in southern B.C. I’ve distributed a lot of those books already. There’s another little pamphlet now that I’ve gotten hold of, two little pamphlets, in fact, that I’m also distributing. …
O TIMOTHY: I think it’s common knowledge that the charismatic healers like Kathryn Kuhlman, Oral Roberts, and John Wimber have a very, very low success rate, to say the least. I think that’s common knowledge. What do you think the problem is here? Men are claiming to be healing, and we see that in the Bible there were healings, that God healed. Do you think God is not working among men today, or what’s the problem?
POHL: Well, I believe God heals. I still have a personal belief that God heals because I have seen healings–not a large amount, but I have seen some genuine healings. But I don’t claim to have the gift of healing. I just pray for people according to James 5. I believe that’s the order for the church today. I believe the gift of healing was given in the early church and was largely something that was a credential for the Lord himself and for the apostles. That was their credentials for the fact–in the case of Jesus Christ–that he was the Messiah. And in the case of the Apostles, that they were the Apostles of Jesus Christ. Christ had laid the foundation of the church (Eph. 2:20), and the Apostles finished building on that foundation. They had their credentials, as Paul says in 2 Cor. 12:12 that “the signs of an Apostle were wrought among you in all power and signs and wonders.”
What are the signs of an Apostle? I believe these signs, wonders, and miracles, were their credentials, the apostolic credentials. And that’s why many of these things were done in the early church, as the credentials of their authority under Christ.
Alright. Today, though, we have this teaching that everybody can do signs, wonders, and miracles, or nearly everybody, that these gifts are still very prevalent in the church. There are all kinds of people who claim to have the gift of healing and so on. But are they genuine?
To answer your question, I say they are not. These are not the gifts of healing, these are not genuine. Real genuine gifts of healing were there for Christ and the Apostles, as their credential signs. But today these are not Apostles. And they don’t need these credentials as Apostles, because they aren’t Apostles.
Sure, they can pray for people according to James 5, and they can be healed if the Lord so wills, but it doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a lot of healing, just a great deal of healings going on as in the days of Christ because those are there as credential signs for the early church.
So today you have some healings that are done by people who claim to have the gift of healing, but who don’t really have the gift, and in most cases they don’t heal people anyway. They’re not genuine healers.
Some healings are temporary. I think a lot of that has to do with psychological side of it. Some people claim to be healed, you know, in the excitement of a healing meeting, [and they] throw away their crutches, but in a short while they’ll need crutches again. In excitement, psychologically you can do some strange things. Strange things can happen, but it’s not lasting.
I don’t think anybody has the gift of healing today. And I think that’s proven by the fact that the percentage [of sicknesses which are healed] is so very low.
[It is also true that] some people are healed in spite of the healer. Now, if I’m really sincere before God, and I look beyond the healer, and I’m trusting the Lord to heal me, then the miracle can happen in spite of the healer. And I think there are some cases like that. I’m not a bit surprised that that happens, because God does answer faith.
Not like Branham said–I remember him saying this to one man in the healing line one night in Saskatoon–“Do you believe that the angel gave me this gift?” To me, that was a very unfair question. Here the man had been in that long healing line, and he finally got to Branham, and he wanted to be prayed for and healed. And now he’s confronted with this question: “Do you believe that the angel gave me this gift?” What could the man say? If he said, “No,” Branham wouldn’t have prayed for him. So what did he do? In front of all these people he said, “Yes.” You understand? But how could he know? There was no way that he knew that an angel met Branham. He’s only taking Branham at his word.
“Do you believe an angel gave me this gift?”
Well, “Yes,” he said, then Branham prayed for him. But that’s ridiculous. He was having faith in Branham’s word, not in the Bible. It wasn’t the Lord. He was looking to a man. And that’s why I think so many people were not healed, because they just depended on Branham, because Branham was a healer. [And this is true] whoever the healer is. There was something wrong there. No wonder there were very few people healed.
O TIMOTHY: We appreciate very much, Brother Pohl, that you have shared the experiences with us about William Branham.