This website was created by Jeremy Bergen and Rod Bergen. It was initially designed to promote the ministry of William Branham (hence the name), however, they eventually came to the realization that they had to eat some humble pie. The following videos tell our story as does the Humble Pie article. You can hear our story and those of many others on our podcast - Off The Shelf
The History of Believe The Sign (Part 1) by Jeremy Bergen
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The History of Believe The Sign (Part 2) by Rod Bergen
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This website was borne out of a burden to spread the message that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. We are very thankful to God for allowing us this opportunity, and to those that have helped put the website together.
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.
What We Believe
We have been asked numerous times what we believed. Some ask out of genuine concern, others out of curiousity, some ask with an intent to find more to criticize while others appear to be self-appointed doctrine police. We are not into creeds or doctrinal statements as we are simply sincere Christians that hold to the Bible as the Word of God. We do not point to any organization, church or man as having special status or a lock on the truth.
However, in our research, we did come across a statement of faith that we rather liked and that we would be prepared to sign as something we believed. So, if you are looking for a statement of the basic truths that we hold to we would refer you to the Lausanne Covenant.
The following are some of the more important bits:
Who God Is
We affirm our belief in the one-eternal God, Creator and Lord of the world, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who governs all things according to the purpose of his will. He has been calling out from the world a people for himself, and sending his people back into the world to be his servants and his witnesses, for the extension of his kingdom, the building up of Christ's body, and the glory of his name. We confess with shame that we have often denied our calling and failed in our mission, by becoming conformed to the world or by withdrawing from it. Yet we rejoice that even when borne by earthen vessels the gospel is still a precious treasure. To the task of making that treasure known in the power of the Holy Spirit we desire to dedicate ourselves anew.
(Isa. 40:28; Matt. 28:19; Eph. 1:11; Acts 15:14; John 17:6, 18; Eph 4:12; 1 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 12:2; II Cor. 4:7)
We affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of both Old and New Testament Scriptures in their entirety as the only written word of God, without error in all that it affirms, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice. We also affirm the power of God's word to accomplish his purpose of salvation. The message of the Bible is addressed to all men and women. For God's revelation in Christ and in Scripture is unchangeable. Through it the Holy Spirit still speaks today. He illumines the minds of God's people in every culture to perceive its truth freshly through their own eyes and thus discloses to the whole Church ever more of the many-colored wisdom of God.
(II Tim. 3:16; II Pet. 1:21; John 10:35; Isa. 55:11; 1 Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16, Matt. 5:17,18; Jude 3; Eph. 1:17,18; 3:10,18)
We affirm that there is only one Saviour and only one gospel, although there is a wide diversity of evangelistic approaches. We recognise that everyone has some knowledge of God through his general revelation in nature. But we deny that this can save, for people suppress the truth by their unrighteousness. We also reject as derogatory to Christ and the gospel every kind of syncretism and dialogue which implies that Christ speaks equally through all religions and ideologies. Jesus Christ, being himself the only God-man, who gave himself as the only ransom for sinners, is the only mediator between God and people. There is no other name by which we must be saved. All men and women are perishing because of sin, but God loves everyone, not wishing that any should perish but that all should repent. Yet those who reject Christ repudiate the joy of salvation and condemn themselves to eternal separation from God. To proclaim Jesus as "the Saviour of the world" is not to affirm that all people are either automatically or ultimately saved, still less to affirm that all religions offer salvation in Christ. Rather it is to proclaim God's love for a world of sinners and to invite everyone to respond to him as Saviour and Lord in the wholehearted personal commitment of repentance and faith. Jesus Christ has been exalted above every other name; we long for the day when every knee shall bow to him and every tongue shall confess him Lord.
(Gal. 1:6-9;Rom. 1:18-32; I Tim. 2:5,6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16-19; II Pet. 3:9; II Thess. 1:7-9;John 4:42; Matt. 11:28; Eph. 1:20,21; Phil. 2:9-11)
The Necessity of Evangelism
To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures, and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gifts of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. Our Christian presence in the world is indispensable to evangelism, and so is that kind of dialogue whose purpose is to listen sensitively in order to understand. But evangelism itself is the proclamation of the historical, biblical Christ as Saviour and Lord, with a view to persuading people to come to him personally and so be reconciled to God. In issuing the gospel invitation we have no liberty to conceal the cost of discipleship. Jesus still calls all who would follow him to deny themselves, take up their cross, and identify themselves with his new community. The results of evangelism include obedience to Christ, incorporation into his Church and responsible service in the world.
(I Cor. 15:3,4; Acts 2: 32-39; John 20:21; I Cor. 1:23; II Cor. 4:5; 5:11,20; Luke 14:25-33; Mark 8:34; Acts 2:40,47; Mark 10:43-45)
Chrisitan Social Responsibility
We affirm that God is both the Creator and the Judge of all people. We therefore should share his concern for justice and reconciliation throughout human society and for the liberation of men and women from every kind of oppression. Because men and women are made in the image of God, every person, regardless of race, religion, colour, culture, class, sex or age, has an intrinsic dignity because of which he or she should be respected and served, not exploited. Here too we express penitence both for our neglect and for having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive. Although reconciliation with other people is not reconciliation with God, nor is social action evangelism, nor is political liberation salvation, nevertheless we affirm that evangelism and socio-political involvement are both part of our Christian duty. For both are necessary expressions of our doctrines of God and man, our love for our neighbour and our obedience to Jesus Christ. The message of salvation implies also a message of judgment upon every form of alienation, oppression and discrimination, and we should not be afraid to denounce evil and injustice wherever they exist. When people receive Christ they are born again into his kingdom and must seek not only to exhibit but also to spread its righteousness in the midst of an unrighteous world. The salvation we claim should be transforming us in the totality of our personal and social responsibilities. Faith without works is dead.
(Acts 17:26,31; Gen. 18:25; Isa. 1:17; Psa. 45:7; Gen. 1:26,27; Jas. 3:9; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:27,35; Jas. 2:14-26; Joh. 3:3,5; Matt. 5:20; 6:33; II Cor. 3:18; Jas. 2:20)
We affirm that Christ sends his redeemed people into the world as the Father sent him, and that this calls for a similar deep and costly penetration of the world. We need to break out of our ecclesiastical ghettos and permeate non-Christian society. In the Church's mission of sacrificial service evangelism is primary. World evangelization requires the whole Church to take the whole gospel to the whole world. The Church is at the very centre of God's cosmic purpose and is his appointed means of spreading the gospel. But a church which preaches the cross must itself be marked by the cross. It becomes a stumbling block to evangelism when it betrays the gospel or lacks a living faith in God, a genuine love for people, or scrupulous honesty in all things including promotion and finance. The church is the community of God's people rather than an institution, and must not be identified with any particular culture, social or political system, or human ideology.
(John 17:18; 20:21; Matt. 28:19,20; Acts 1:8; 20:27; Eph. 1:9,10; 3:9-11; Gal. 6:14,17; II Cor. 6:3,4; II Tim. 2:19-21; Phil. 1:27)
We affirm that the Church's visible unity in truth is God's purpose. Evangelism also summons us to unity, because our oneness strengthens our witness, just as our disunity undermines our gospel of reconciliation.
(John 17:21,23; Eph. 4:3,4; John 13:35; Phil. 1:27; John 17:11-23)
We believe that we are engaged in constant spiritual warfare with the principalities and powers of evil, who are seeking to overthrow the Church and frustrate its task of world evangelization. We know our need to equip ourselves with God's armour and to fight this battle with the spiritual weapons of truth and prayer. For we detect the activity of our enemy, not only in false ideologies outside the Church, but also inside it in false gospels which twist Scripture and put people in the place of God. We need both watchfulness and discernment to safeguard the biblical gospel. We acknowledge that we ourselves are not immune to worldliness of thoughts and action, that is, to a surrender to secularism. For example, although careful studies of church growth, both numerical and spiritual, are right and valuable, we have sometimes neglected them. At other times, desirous to ensure a response to the gospel, we have compromised our message, manipulated our hearers through pressure techniques, and become unduly preoccupied with statistics or even dishonest in our use of them. All this is worldly. The Church must be in the world; the world must not be in the Church.
(Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 4:3,4; Eph. 6:11,13-18; II Cor. 10:3-5; I John 2:18-26; 4:1-3; Gal. 1:6-9; II Cor. 2:17; 4:2; John 17:15)
The Power of the Holy Spirit
We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Father sent his Spirit to bear witness to his Son; without his witness ours is futile. Conviction of sin, faith in Christ, new birth and Christian growth are all his work. Further, the Holy Spirit is a missionary spirit; thus evangelism should arise spontaneously from a Spirit-filled church. A church that is not a missionary church is contradicting itself and quenching the Spirit. Worldwide evangelization will become a realistic possibility only when the Spirit renews the Church in truth and wisdom, faith, holiness, love and power. We therefore call upon all Christians to pray for such a visitation of the sovereign Spirit of God that all his fruit may appear in all his people and that all his gifts may enrich the body of Christ. Only then will the whole church become a fit instrument in his hands, that the whole earth may hear his voice.
(I Cor. 2:4; John 15:26;27; 16:8-11; I Cor. 12:3; John 3:6-8; II Cor. 3:18; John 7:37-39; I Thess. 5:19; Acts 1:8; Psa. 85:4-7; 67:1-3; Gal. 5:22,23; I Cor. 12:4-31; Rom. 12:3-8)
The Return of Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly, in power and glory, to consummate his salvation and his judgment. This promise of his coming is a further spur to our evangelism, for we remember his words that the gospel must first be preached to all nations. We believe that the interim period between Christ's ascension and return is to be filled with the mission of the people of God, who have no liberty to stop before the end. We also remember his warning that false Christs and false prophets will arise as precursors of the final Antichrist. We therefore reject as a proud, self-confident dream the notion that people can ever build a utopia on earth. Our Christian confidence is that God will perfect his kingdom, and we look forward with eager anticipation to that day, and to the new heaven and earth in which righteousness will dwell and God will reign forever. Meanwhile, we rededicate ourselves to the service of Christ and of people in joyful submission to his authority over the whole of our lives.
(Mark 14:62; Heb. 9:28; Mark 13:10; Acts 1:8-11; Matt. 28:20; Mark 13:21-23; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-3; Luke 12:32; Rev. 21:1-5; II Pet. 3:13; Matt. 28:18)
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…