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William Marrion Branham was seen by many in the Pentecostal and charismatic movements as one of the leaders of the healing revival that occurred during the 1940's and 1950's. He is viewed as a man who started well but whose ministry veered from Christian orthodoxy in its latter stages.
Many view him as a charlatan; deceiving people with a false gift of healing; and, holding himself forth as a something that he was not.
A small minority believe him to be a prophet of God, like Elijah or Moses. A man who revealed the hidden mysteries of the Bible, foretold events leading up to the second coming of Jesus Christ, and who was the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5 and Revelation 10:7. Some view him as infallible. All of his followers believe his teachings to be inspired by God.
The purpose of BelieveTheSign is to provide balanced, unbiased information on the ministry of William Branham. We will provide an objective examination of his claims, the beliefs of his followers and the criticisms of his detractors.
We pray that the contents of this website would speak to your soul, and lead you closer to Jesus Christ.
For further information, our contact information is here.
The History of BelieveTheSign - Part 1
Hi, my name is Jeremy and I’d like to talk to you about the Message of William Branham. I was raised in a church that taught that William Branham was Elijah the prophet in fulfillment of Malachi 4:5. We were taught that the rapture of the elect Bride of Jesus Christ was coming soon. I attended message churches for a total of 32 years. During this time, I published and edited a website called Believethesign.com. Its purpose was to introduce people to Jesus Christ through the prophetic message and ministry of Brother Branham.
When I was creating the website, I had access to a number of people who were eyewitnesses of William Branham’s ministry. We collected their stories on video as firsthand evidence that William Branham’s healing and discernment ministries were authentic. No one asked me to do this.
I also wrote articles on Bible topics popular in the Message, such as the Godhead, Serpent’s Seed, and hair length. Other people volunteered, and we wrote articles on William Branham’s prophecies, the Church Ages and the Seven Seals, using historical evidence to support William Branham’s teachings. William Branham’s life story was also included, supported by as many newspaper, magazine and published sources that we could find. The site was completed with an invitation to believe on Jesus Christ.
What we produced was a thoughtful, artistic website supported by firsthand evidence. The site was not tied to any church, so that people could use it as a witnessing tool from anywhere in the world. And people did use the site! Since 2008, people from over 200 countries have spent over 185,000 hours on the site…and we only started tracking statistics 10 months after we launched the site.
I also responded to hundreds of emails during this time about William Branham’s ministry, and encouraging people in their Christian walk. Because we shared our evidence and knowledge freely, believethesign grew in popularity. In fact, over 80 churches and hundreds of websites linked directly to believethesign at one point or another. The site was also translated into 5 other languages.
Then, some strange things happened.
First, I realized that no one in the message had a photo of Sunset Mountain. All the photos of Sunset Mountain are really of a place called “Rattlesnake Mesa”, which is over 10 miles from Sunset Peak. So we flew down and climbed Sunset Peak just to share photos with Message Believers.
Next, an eyewitness tried to deceive me for personal gain, so I quietly removed that individual’s testimony from the site.
This was followed by some long discussions on the Godhead with Oneness message believers, at which point I realized that I had always been taught Oneness doctrine, even though William Branham said it was wrong.
So went back over everything that Bro. Branham had taught on the subject and re-wrote everything I had published on the Godhead. At this point, believethesign was still widely accepted in Message circles, and approved by virtually every message church we knew of.
We then received a question about a prophecy of William Branham’s death. We hadn’t heard of this prophecy before, so we researched it and found that both Kenneth Hagin, and Freda Lindsay (who was Gordon Lindsay’s wife) confirmed the prophecy. Anna Schrader also had a similar prophecy. This was a big problem for us as Bro Branham had said that Anna Schrader had the gift of prophecy.
In February 2011, we published an article on this topic which was not well received by most in the message – a first for believethesign.
Still, we continued in the Message.
We then received a question about the Municipal Bridge Vision and found that this vision was never fulfilled. This caused a new problem for us because we believed that William Branham was a true prophet. If he was not a true prophet, William Branham could not have fulfilled Malachi 4:5. We reached out to new resources and ministries to see who might confirm the bridge disaster, but found there was no evidence to support that anyone had died during its construction.
We also began to find other discrepancies that created more concern with the message.
So, I updated Believethesign in the fall of 2011 to remove all references to Malachi 4:5 and changed the main scripture to Hebrews 10:8 – “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever” – which was William Branham’s campaign scripture.
We continued attended a message church, and believethesign was still used by our church and other churches around the world.
While we were struggling with whether Bro Branham was really a prophet, we also became concerned with some doctrinal issues, particularly those which he said were “Thus Saith The Lord”. I’m hoping to talk a little more about these doctrines in upcoming videos.
After a few more months of research, the evidence against Bro. Branham status being a prophet became overwhelming. So I published an article called “Humble Pie”, where I apologized for spreading the doctrine that William Branham was the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5.
That’s the history of believethesign to October 2012. We hope that you will continue to watch our videos.
The History of BelieveTheSign - Part 2
Hi, my name is Rod Bergen and I want to take a moment to tell you about my involvement with the Believe The Sign website.
My son, Jeremy, started the website in 2007. If you haven’t seen Jeremy’s video about the history of BelieveThe Sign, you should watch it.
From day one, BelieveTheSign was Jeremy’s idea and he was responsible for the content of the website. He took six months off work and wrote 95% of what you read on the site. I was delighted to have a son who was so committed to doing something for the Gospel that he was prepared to put his career on hold while he pursued the burden that God had given him.
He had no one to help him with the technical aspects of the website, so I ended up looking after the software platform, server and infrastructure. As Jeremy started researching some of the more troubling questions that were coming into the website, we discussed these issues in great detail.
At the same time, I started to lose confidence in some of the ministers that I had previously held in high regard. Some were prepared to compromise on moral issues in their personal lives. Others were prepared to ignore clear biblical guidance where friendships were involved.
This caused me a lot of distress.
I came to the conclusion that there were a couple of possible causes of what I was seeing. Either:
After 3 years of Jeremy and I researching the Bible and the message, I was so troubled by what I was finding that at the end of June 2012 I retired from my job. My wife and I went away for several months to spend time seeking God and trying to find spiritual answers for the things that were troubling us.
While we were away, Jeremy decided to publish his apology in his Humble Pie article. Some people have tried to say that I was the one behind the website and the one pushing Jeremy to change his views on Bro. Branham. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Those that say these things don’t know my son very well.
However, I am in general agreement with the stand he has taken. And now that I have more time on my hands than he does, I expect that you will see me in a few videos of my own. But the editorial content of the videos, and of the website in general, remains in Jeremy’s hands.
Some have asked where I stand with respect to the Message?
In my view, it is clear that William Branham had an amazing ministry. He had 2 remarkable gifts: the gift of healing and the gift of the word of knowledge or discernment.
While many in the message believe that these are the signs of a prophet, they are simply manifestations of the Holy Spirit as outlined in 1 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 8 to 11. But, it is also true that, while Bro. Branham thought that he was an old testament prophet, he clearly was not.
Our research has uncovered visions that failed, unbelievable exaggerations and Bro. Branham’s self-promotion of himself as the fulfillment of multiple scriptures. Some of the details of our research are on the BelieveTheSign website. Information that many ministers in the message have known about for years, but have hidden from their congregations.
More information will be published in the near future. Both Jeremy and I believe that we have a responsibility to let people know exactly what the truth is.
We have been accused of shaking the faith of some weaker ones. But if their faith rests in William Branham, or in some fast talking message preacher, shouldn’t it be shaken? We believe that you and I need to follow Jesus Christ and no one else. That is of the utmost importance.
If you have any questions or think that we have some our facts wrong, please email us. And thanks for watching…