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The Alpha Course

Alpha Roots Chart Data Table
Biography for William Branham
(Latter Rain Movement)

by Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald

PLEASE NOTE
The following is merely a limited collection of useful but essentially random facts on the subject in question.
This document is not intended to be taken as an in-depth, or exhaustive, or definitive treatment.

 

 

Foretelling or Fortunetelling?

“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 (Grand Rapids: Kregal Publications, 1962), p.150, quoted in Alfred Pohl and David Cloud, William Branham: Prophet or Profiteer? (Way of Life Literature, Bible Baptist Church, 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, Washington, 98277, USA), p5]. 

“His powers were those of a soothsayer … In fact, when Branham met fortune tellers, they even told him that he was influenced by supernatural powers … ” [Alfred Pohl and David Cloud, William Branham: Prophet or Profiteer? (Way of Life Literature, Bible Baptist Church, 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, Washington, 98277, USA), p14]. 

 

A prophet?

"Branham’s official Publications = The Voice of God Recordings, Inc., (formerly Spoken Word Publications) … Branham recounted … audible communications and visions that imparted to him specific information concerning future events which later came to pass. … Not long after the commission as the forerunner of the second coming of Christ, Branham was visited by an angel. He was told that he was being given two ministry gifts. He would receive the gift of healing and the gift of the "word of knowledge." [Watchman Fellowship Profile, www.watchman.org/profile/branpro.htm]. 

 "Now, I'm just your brother, by the grace of God. But when the Angel of the Lord moves down, it becomes then a Voice of God to you...But I am God's Voice to you... Now, see, I can say nothing in myself. But what He shows me" [Footprints On The Sands Of Time, p. 214, Watchman Fellowship Profile, www.watchman.org/profile/branpro.htm]. 

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

"During the final years of his life, Branham's message focused on eschatological issues. Interpreting Revelation chapters 1, 2, and 3, Branham preached that there were seven church ages throughout the history of Christianity. Each church age had a specific messenger who preached the "message of the hour;" if this message was not followed, salvation could not be obtained. The first messenger was Paul of Tarsus, the last was yet to be revealed. Branham concluded that the world was in the midst of the seventh and final church age and that soon a prophet would reveal the word of God. Although he made no outright claims, Branham felt that he was the messenger to the seventh church age, the age of Laodicea. According to Branham, the age to which he was ministering to was corrupt and the only means of salvation for this age would be through a prophet, sent from God. Branham described several characteristics of this prophet, all which paralleled his life and beliefs" [http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/williambranham1.html]. 

"In the Laodicean age Branham states 'As a servant of God who has had multitudes of visions of which NONE has ever failed let me predict (I did not say Prophesy, but PREDICT) that this age will, end around 1977 …  I base this prediction on seven major continuous visions that came to me one Sunday morning in June, 1933. The Lord Jesus spoke to me and said that the coming of the Lord was drawing nigh, but that before He came, seven major events would transpire.' This was obviously after he heard the voice speak at the baptism. He was extremely deceived by these signs from the beginning, even as a Baptist.

  1. The first vision was that Mussolini would invade Ethiopia and that nation would 'fall at his steps.'
  2. An Austrian by the name of Adolph Hitler would rise up as dictator over Germany
  3. There would be three great ISMS. Fascism, Nazism, Communism, but that the first two would he swallowed up into the third. The voice admonished to -WATCH RUSSIA, WATCH RUSSIA. Keep your eye on the king of the North.
  4. Great advances in science that would come after the second world war. It was headed up in the vision of a plastic bubble topped car that was running down beautiful highways under remote control so that people appeared seated in this car without a steering wheel
  5. The fifth vision had to do with the moral problem of our  age, centering mostly around women. God showed me that  women began to be out 'of their place with the granting of the vote. Then they cut off their hair, which signified that they were no longer under the authority of a man but insisted on either equal rights.
  6. the sixth vision there arose up in America, a most beautiful,   but cruel woman. She held the people in her complete power. I believed that this was the rise of the Roman Catholic church, though I knew it could possibly be a vision of some woman rising in great power in America due to a popular vote by women.
  7. wherein I heard a most terrible explosion. As I turned to look I saw nothing but debris, craters, and smoke all over the land of America" [http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain6.htm].

"I repeat, 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 millenium [sic].” (Seven Church Ages Page 322) … Branhamites like Jehovah's Witnesses say that he said 'I predict',  he did not say 'thus saith the Lord' yet he did say, along with divine inspiration.  We can go to the Bible and see not all the false prophets had said this phrase for their prophecies or future predictions. … Branham said it was the Lord who said this … If he got his revelation from Scripture then it should be the truth no matter what you call it" [http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain6.htm].

 

Elijah?

"I was baptizing down on the river, my first converts, at the Ohio River ... And just then a whirl came down from the heavens above, and here comes 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 scared me to death" [William Branham, How the Angel Came to Me, and His Commission (Edmonton: End time Message Tabernacle), p.18), quoted in Alfred Pohl and David Cloud, William Branham: Prophet or Profiteer? (Way of Life Literature, Bible Baptist Church, 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, Washington, 98277, USA), p10]. 

"[T]here is also Branham's fanciful self claim of coming the spirit of (prophet) Elijah without the qualification of being Jewish, nor being in Israel. For it was John that Jesus said came in the spirit of Elijah making this qualification apparent to all who want to see what the Scripture actually means (Mt.1:2-4).  John the Baptist being a forerunner of Christ was alive as He introduced Christ to the people. Branham claimed to be the forerunner of the Second Advent of Christ but the difference is that it is still 40 years later since he died and Christ has not come. A whole generation that would be part of the forerunner has come and gone proving he was not fulfilling this office" [http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain6.htm].

"Branham believed himself to be Elijah on earth: 'See, immediately after the coming of THIS Elijah, the earth will be cleansed by hate and the wicked burned to ashes' (THE MESSAGE TO THE LAODICEAN AGE, p.13)" [Let Us Reason Ministries]. 

 

Angel of church of Laodicea?

“Branham proclaimed himself the angel of Revelation 3:14 and 10:7 and prophesied that by 1977 …” [Burgess and McGee, Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, (Zondervan, 1988), p96]. 

"… (speaking for Jesus) I am going to speak all right. Yes, I am 'here in the midst of the Church. The Amen of God, faithful and true will reveal Himself and it will BE BY MY PROPHET.' Oh yes, that is so. Rev. 10:7 'And in the days of the voice of the seventh messenger, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.' There it is. He is sending a vindicated prophet. He is sending a prophet after almost two thousand years. He is sending someone who is so far from organization, education, and the world of religion that as John the Baptist and Elijah of old, He will hear only from God and he will have 'thus saith the Lord' and speak for God. He will be God's mouthpiece and HE, AS IT IS DECLARED IN MAL. 4:6, WILL TURN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN BACK TO THE FATHERS" [W. Branham THE MESSAGE TO THE LAODICEAN AGE, p.28].

"Branham made the claim that the angels to the churches (in the book of Revelation) were actually men who appeared at various times throughout church history, bringing new revelation to lead the church into progressive revelation. … Branhams concept was that each age had a living messenger and that he was the last one. Ephesian-Paul; Smyrnea-Ireneaus; Pergamean-Martin; Thyatirean-Columba; Sardisean-Luther; Philadelphia-Wesley; Laodicean-Branham" [http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain6.htm]. 

 

Healings

“He said, 'I am sent from the Presence of Almighty God, to tell you that 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'.” [William Branham, How the Angel Came to Me, and His Commission (Edmonton: End Time Message Tabernacle), p.18-22, quoted in Alfred Pohl and David Cloud, William Branham: Prophet or Profiteer? (Way of Life Literature, Bible Baptist Church, 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, Washington, 98277, USA), p12]. 

William Branham Healing Meeting in City of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, 1940s.  Eyewitness Report by Alfred Pohl [Alfred Pohl and David Cloud, William Branham: Prophet or Profiteer? (Way of Life Literature, Bible Baptist Church, 1219 N. Harns Road, Oak Harbor, Washington, 98277, USA), pp16-22].

"Pohl:  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, you just keep on trusting the Lord. You’re healed. Don’t loose [sic] 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 everyone was pronounced healed. But the tragedy is that so many of those died after Branham was gone. … 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:  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’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. … Branham prayed for her and pronounced her healed. … 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.’ … About 10 to 14 days later [the man returned]. ‘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. … Tell me, how is it that my wife who was healed 10 days ago, is now in the grave?’ ...

"[Branham would] say, well ‘Your faith failed, and it’s not my fault.’ But, I don’t see that is the case in Scripture either – where people’s faith failed, and they lost their healing after God healed them, or the Lord healed them, or the Apostles healed them. … 

"[T]he other party was a pastor from Port Arthur, Ontario, … He flew his wife in and the nurse to Saskatoon … 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 she was healed. He also claimed that the pastor’s wife was healed of cancer. … [A]bout three, four weeks later, … I came to Port Arthur, [I asked] ‘How’s his wife doing? … She was healed in the meetings in Saskatoon.’ … And they said, ‘Haven’t you heard? She’s dead.’ … 

"We had more of those cases. … I stood beside bed after bed, person after person who was pronounced healed, yet … they passed away. So there was something very wrong with this type of healing."

 

Blasphemy

"On March 17- 24, 1963 Branham preached 'The Seven Seal Mysteries” of Revelation 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10:1-7. … 'We find out that during that time I saw seven Angels in a form of a pyramid that swept down and picked me up. And  I was brought east to open the Seven Seals for God.'  (Commission By Seven Mighty Angels). Just who does this man think he is to open the 7 seals. The mysteries of God are not known to the angels, they are sealed to men and angels. Look what John has to say about this Rev 5:1-9: 'And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?' And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.” …

"It is Jesus who is the only one who is worthy to open the scroll. Branham is now deceived by the angel into thinking he is worthy. This is proof this vision and probably others were not of God but a shrewd deception upon a man who had been given great influence over the Pentecostal Church" [http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain6.htm]. 

 

Unscriptural Teachings / Doctrines

"Did not Jesus say for us to continue in God’s word, … Branham speaks for God by an angel who gave him some very different things to say … God is not the author of confusion he will not speak one way then and speak another way to someone else" [http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain6.htm].

(a) Denied the Trinity
"Branham has (among other things) denounced the doctrine of the Trinity as coming directly from the Devil"
[Hanegraaff, STATEMENT DC755-1, citing: William Marrion Branham, Revelation Chapter Four #3 (Throne Of Mercy and Judgment) (Jeffersonville, IN: Voice of God Recordings, 1961), audio tape #61-0108, side 2; cf. William Marrion Branham, Footprints on the Sands of Time: The Autobiography of William Marrion Branham, Part Two (Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, 1975), 606-7].

"Trinitarianism is of the Devil. Now, my precious brother, I know this is a tape also. Now, don't get excited. Let me say this with godly love. The hour has approached where I can't hold still on these things no more: too close to the coming. See? 'Trinitarianism is of the devil.' I say that THUS SAITH THE LORD" [Revelation Chapter Four #3 (Throne of Mercy and Judgment), January 8, 1961 (tape #61-0108)].

(b) Serpent’s Seed

(c) Baptism in the Name of Jesus only

(d) Denied eternal hell

(e) Believed the Word of God was given in three forms: the Zodiac, the Egyptian pyramids, the written Scriptures. 

 

General

"His popularity declined in the late 1950s after his numerous bold proclamations of 'thus saith the Lord' to establish his doctrines"  [http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/williambranham1.html].

 

Branham's Angel

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

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

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

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

"With this Biblical record, why then did Branham need an angel when no other Biblical prophet or apostle needed one? At best his experience with this angel is extra-Biblical and thus very suspect. It is now my opinion that this angel was an angel of light: 'For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds' (2 Cor. 11:13-15).

"Because of the signs and wonders in his meetings Branham demanded that the people accept his teaching. The 'Word' he delivered was 'confirmed' by signs following (or preceding at times). What does the Scripture say regarding this?: 'If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, "Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them," you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul' (Deut. 13:1-3).

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

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

-----------------------------------

William Branham and His Message:

An Examination of the Teachings of William Branham from a Former Follower's Perspective by John Kennah at http://people.delphiforums.com/JohnK63/home.htm

---------------------------------

The New Order of the Latter-Rain

"In 1699, Jane Leade and the PS wrote a publicly distributed tract entitled: The Declaration of the Philadelphian Society of ENGLAND, Easter-Day, 1699. Addressed to the Catholick Church, Representative and Diffusive. I have the document and I am able to transcribe it  all except one word, which I might call upon you to retrieve via a microfilm viewer.

"The important part to remember about the PS is that everything they believed in and practiced seems to line up with the Rosicrucians. There are some web sites that state she was a Rosicrucian. I have no doubts that she was. Her life as well as the PS doctrines and practices may give us a rare insight as to how the Kabbala was used as an interpreter for the Bible. I am stating emphatically that the Kabbala was explained in the Theosophical Transactions of the Philadelphian Society as being a primary component of their esoteric beliefs.

"This is stated openly so their is no mystery about this. Now, I want you to think of the ramifications here. I have proven that American NOLR leaders George Hurlburt Warnock and George Robert Hawtin both knew about Jane Leade and George Hawtin additionally wrote favorably about both Boehme and Leade in his newsletters which were eventually turned into journals. (Send for these if you can)

"What this means is that the NOLR 'Pentecostal Movement' as it says it paralleled the other Pentecostals was in reality a rebirthing of the very same 'Enthusiasm' that the 17th century Behmenists were involved with. This includes MSOG/NOLR leaders like Bob Weiner and Rick Joyner mentioned and teaching in their writings (I have written proof) the very same prophetic declarations and foretellings as Jane Leade. Not only that, but I have come from a charismatic background for the majority of my life and I have been told that 'God restored the gift of tongues in the 1909 Azuza Street Revival.' Nothing could be further from the truth as proved through the writings of counter-cult apologists throughout the centuries!!

"But beyond all that, even though I knew about the Kabbala connection well over two years ago, I along with another Sister who is helping me, discovered that the entire Manifest Sons of God doctrine stems directly from the concept of ADAM KADMON of the KABBALAH!!!!!!! They are one and the same!! And nobody that I have read has ever made this connection!!!

"This fact of the 'Divine Family' of the Androgynous 'God' whose female half is Sophia created Adam Kadmon or 'Adam' who himself was a co-equal. And why not I say! They came from the same family, right! So then, God expected Adam to give birth to other 'Sons' from his side and increase the family, right? So, Adam became too preoccupied with the material world, fell to earth, and in the process was sheared or split into Adam and Eve!!

"This story is found in the Kabbalah. It is also found in the writings of Jacob Boehme. It is also found as a Dissertation on Man's Fall by German behmenist Johann Conrad Beissel who preached Boehme's doctrines in the streets of Germany before he immigrated to Germantown, Pennsylvania in the early part of the 18th century. He formed the Ephrata Cloister and it was known as the 'Woman in the Wilderness'. This title has a direct inference to 'Wisdom Sophia' whom the Ephratans waited for and whom Rick Joyner mentions he saw and spoke with in his book of visions like 'Final Quest.'

"The Kabbalah and Adam Kadmon and Wisdom Sophia -- do a search on them and then compare the attributes of the MSOG and you will see they are one and the same!

"Now we are getting somewhere as we now have pinpointed not only the theosophical roots of the NOLR to Boehme and Leade but we have also identified the origins of the MSOG doctrines as having theosophical roots in the Kabbalah. With that said, we now have a case for openly declaring that the entire NOLR does not and never did have a legitimate foundation and the entire premise that 'God is restoring the office of apostles and prophets' was taken from a well known Behmenist and Rosicrucian. In other words, we can now declare that the NOLR is, in fact, the occult!!" [US researcher, personal email on file].

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