A response to Jason Watkins' letter to a believer who has left the message
In December 2019, as a result of another well-respected message minister announcing that he was leaving the message, a few message ministers issued statements attempting to defend William Branham and his message. To date, it has been rare for pastors in the message to address the issues and questions that we and others have brought to the attention of those in the message. As a result, we want to respond to these "defenses" not as a challenge to the authors but rather to inform interested readers of the other side of the issues involved so that you, our readers, can arrive at your own conclusions. We would also be interested in entering into a dialogue on this subject with any of the authors. Each "defense" is included at the bottom of the article.
If you are aware of any additional defenses of the message by message minisers, please let us know and we will attempt to respond.
In summary, the purpose of this series of articles is to present a reasoned response to these "defenses".
Click on the link below to go to the specific topic. You are currently in the article that is in bold.
A response to the challenge issued by Jason Watkins
Jason Watkins states (incorrectly):
We have highlighted many doctrinal problems with William Branham's doctrines. Our complete list can be found here.
A summary of our response to Jason Watkins
Jason Watkins starts with a premise that is flawed.
Jesus DID NOT promise Elijah would come and restore all things... in fact, Jesus tells us this:
Matthew 11:13-15 (HCSB)
Matthew 17:10-13 (HCSB)
Jesus RESTORED ALL THINGS:
John 19:28-30 (HCSB)
IT IS FINISHED!!
Jason Watkins also claims that there is a requirement for a Gentile prophet. This is a problem across the message and is simply a bad starting point.
In OLD TESTAMENT times, there were only two ways for God to speak to His people:
But we are in a NEW COVENANT which was ushered in by Jesus Christ Himself when this happened:
Matthew 27:50-51 (HCSB)
Notice here that the curtain in the sactuary, the veil which separated everyone EXCEPT the High Priest from God was torn from top to bottom giving EVERYONE direct access to God Himself.
And then we know that Jesus told us in advance that a NEW COVENANT would be arriving when Jesus Christ tells us this:
Luke 16:16 (HCSB)
Matthew 11:13-15 (HCSB)
The Apostle Paul reaffirms this after Christ died on the cross when he writes his letter to the Hebrew church:
Hebrews 1:1-3 (HCSB)
Both Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul tell us that the Word of God and the Holy Spirit are our direct access to God... NO PROPHETS REQUIRED...
Now, are there prophets in the NEW COVENANT? YES, ABSOLUTELY!!! Paul the Apostle instructs us here:
Ephesians 4:11-13 (HCSB)
But they are not the access required for God's People to hear from God, and they behave differently as is discussed here:
1 Corinthians 14:29-33a (HCSB)
Here we see that the prophets are to be judged by the church and they never lie in the Lord's Name (as Branham did numerous times), they never teach that which directly opposes the Word of God (as Branham did multiple times), and the visions and prophecies which they speak ALWAY come to pass (we can't find a single instance where what Branham said as a vision or prophecy BEFORE THE EVENT actually came to pass).
There is no requirement for a Gentile prophet.
A detailed response to Jason Watkins' defense of the message
The following is our detailed response to his defense of the message.
Lack of historical records
Jason Watkins contends that we can't resolve any of the questions relating to the failed visions because of a lack of historical records:
Character witnesses - a red herring argument
Jsaon Watkins argues:
Jack Moore and the boy from Finland
Jason Watkins states:
Those that did question William Branham's credibility
Jason Watkins contends that:
But this is simply not true.
KJV is the only reliable version of the Bible
Jason Watkins demonstrates his lack of knowledge of the Bible when he states:
Did Jesus Exist? A red herring argument
Jason Watkins states (incorrectly) that there is no proof that Jesus existed:
This again demonstrates Jason Watkins lack of education and knowledge of the Bible.
William Branham preached the same message as Paul
Jason Watkins states:
But did William Branham preach the same message as Paul?
Defending William Branham's cloud story
Jason Watkins defense of the cloud:
There are no biblical errors in the message!
Jason Watkins makes a statement he cannot back up:
I say, no!
We are infidels and certainly not Christians
Jason Watkins next argument is a personal attack on us and others who have raise valid and sincere questions. It also proves that he has never investigated our questions in any serious manner:
If the message is wrong, is Jesus wrong?
If William Branham is not THE prophet, then who do we look to?
What is a secret unbeliever?
The power of the message
If you reject the message, terrible things will happen...
Jason Watkins' original letter
Facebook post from Jason Watkins (in its entirety) December 22, 2019
I knew a man in Christ who had a dear friend of many years who was departing the faith once delivered to the saints. He wrote to him from his heart. He still prays for him and hopes it is not too late. Here is that man's letter to his friend. God bless you, brother and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ once again.
I have arrived safely back home, and I wanted to take some time to write to you with reflections on our fellowship and discussion on Tuesday evening past.
I want to thank you once again for being willing to meet with me.
I am sure that you could discern very quickly that I was not there with an agenda or to attack you in any way. In fact, I arrived with my heart fully persuaded that it was all just a big misunderstanding.
As I have now had a couple of days to reflect on the conversation and go back over it again in my mind point by point, I realize that there were many things I would like to have been given the time to say. Points that I think could be helpful to you, and as you did ask me for my help, I thought I might take the time now and reiterate some of the points that I was not able to cover very thoroughly.
Quite honestly, I felt rushed when it was my turn to speak, and that was a bit hurtful to me because I had sat so patiently and quietly and given you uninterrupted and unlimited time.
Uninterrupted, and unbiased time to pour your heart out with your concerns. It seemed to me that when it was my turn, I could hardly get any point to you without being continually interrupted. Then, after only 20-25 minutes, you suddenly were ready to go, and we had to move outside quickly for the last few minutes.
I regret that it turned out like that. If you will now allow me, I would like to give a brief outline here to reiterate some of the points I made or was trying to make, but now far more thoroughly. I was only trying to testify to you how that I had navigated these situations and questions.
Firstly, the questions you pose concerning the cloud over Arizona, the bridge from Indiana to Kentucky, and the boy raised from the dead in Finland. In all three of these and some of the other so-called questions that have arisen, I call them accusations, not questions.
Nonetheless, as I pointed out Tuesday, there is simply no way to know all of the answers. The witnesses are almost entirely gone if not completely gone, and brother Branham is not here to defend himself. It's not that we merely do not have all the answers; we can't have all the answers. We can't go back in time or commune with the dead to ask them.
I have always operated under the premise that there are things I know and things I don't know, so I try to concentrate on the things I know.
What we can’t know now and can never know until the other side is all the history behind the events you mentioned so that seeming inconsistencies, (from a human perspective), can be addressed.
These events happened more than a half-century ago. Witnesses and records that would have existed are perhaps lost forever, and this is not unusual when investigating an historical event.
None of the people who were alive during the days when brother Branham was giving these testimonies decried them in any historical record.
So you say you can’t find historical records from that era that 16 men fell from a bridge, but you also can’t find historical records of credible people from that era who discredited the character of William Branham.
However, there are many great giants of the faith during that time, who were his peers and fellow workers in Christ vineyard who praised him.
Some of them followed his ministry, and some did not. Yet no one ever challenged his stories, which were told from international pulpits around the world.
Jack Moore, who was with him in Finland, continued his friendship with brother Branham allowing him to preach in his pulpit at will. Brother Branham even took to calling himself a second pastor there. Would Jack Moore have allowed a man who he knew to be a liar concerning the Finland boy this privilege? I think not!
We can speak of Lindsay, or Stadsklev (who I interviewed personally before his death on the validity of his claims during brother Branham’s South Africa campaign. He verified to me personally all of the unbelievable events. He spoke in glowing terms of the character of William Branham, that his was the greatest ministry he had ever encountered.
What shall I more say, for the time would fail me to tell of T.L. Osborne, Jack Coe, Oral Roberts, or Fred Bosworth? All of these men who eagerly ran with brother Branham to the fields for Christ. They crisscrossed the mission fields of the world and coast to coast through North America, and they all testified to the sanctity of this man.
They were the spiritual giants of that day, and I will take their testimony because they were there, and they ought to know. Even men who disagreed with his doctrines openly applauded his Godly Christian character and humility.
William Bramham was a man who had everything to gain by simply compromising a little bit. Religious organizations offered him everything, but he refused it throughout his entire ministry and lifetime. There are no credible accusations against his character from anybody, anywhere during that whole era.
You have no doubt read this introduction, but I challenge you to reread it...slowly.
A Man Sent From God
The story of the life of William Branham is so out of this world and beyond the ordinary that were there not available a host of infallible proofs which document and attest its authenticity, one might well be excused for considering it far-fetched and incredible. But the facts are so generally known, and of such a nature that they can be so easily verified by any sincere investigator, that they must stand as God’s witness to his willingness and purpose to reveal himself again to men as he once did in the days of the prophets and the apostles. The story of this prophet’s life for he is a prophet, … indeed witness to the fact that Bible days are here again. Gordan Lindsay February 1950
No one, of spiritual credibility whatever ever brought a railing accusation against the character, godliness, and humility of William Branham. Instead, they particularly spoke of his truthfulness and sincerity.
This message was not proclaimed in a corner, and he didn't just tell these events around a campfire to a few people, or even merely from his own local pulpit.
On the contrary, they were told globally over and over and over for decades, and no one ever challenged his prophecies or the validity of his claims … period!
To suggest to me that now, a half-century later, that a group of men who have forsaken the Message, or even yourself are somehow a higher authority than the verifiable record of these men is preposterous.
I can read their writings and listen to their testimonies on recorded tape and video, and who lived back then, and who knew him, loved him and respected him. For you to even suggest that I should believe you over them is an open insult to my intelligence. No one sensibly would accept the testimony of people who were not there over the proof of people who were. When I look at the historical record it is incontrovertible that William Branham was a man of high caliber and deep honesty and sincerity.
Of course, he was human, and I'm sure like Elijah, he was a man of like passions with his ups and downs as have we all.
But the miraculous side of his ministry alone, to say nothing of the prophetic side dwarf by a long way all other ministries of that day combined.
He offered many times openly from international pulpits for anyone who could say anything different to come and publicly say it, and of course, no one ever did or could.
Am I to understand that for such reasons as not being able to find municipal records about a bridge built almost 100 years ago, or understand differing descriptions in testimonies of the same event (A thing often appearing in Scripture I might add), or simply because we don't know enough information to fully explain a cloud over Arizona, and for this you would want me to discount all the tens of thousands of times his prophetic words hit the mark?
I'm sorry, friend but I don't have that much faith.
I was making the point Tuesday night to you that our faith must exceed our understanding in order to be disciples of Christ at any level, even if we are to believe our KJV Bible fully.
It has many so-called discrepancies, seeming contradictions and conundrums in its many stories and teachings. Most theologians don’t even use the king James Bible anymore for this reason. But yet we can see that it is the Bible that William Branham used to back down demons by the thousands throughout his ministry. It is the Bible we stick with as God’s inerrant and infallible Word. God hides truth from the intellectual, and even Jesus thanked the Father for this.
Many theologians do not even believe the stories written about Jesus Christ, and many more deny the authority of Saint Paul. They point to discrepancies that are, not less in any way, similar to the ones you bring up about William Branham.
There is no actual proof that Jesus Christ even existed; we only have the written copies of the record of men who also supposedly lived during that time. Will you be dissuaded from Jesus and Paul also?
It would not matter to any of us what kind of discrepancy they could point to in Paul's ministry, or what lack of physical evidence they could antagonize us with concerning the Lord's ministry on earth.
Why? Because our faith far exceeds our understanding, and we know what has happened in our hearts by our spiritual experience and the scriptures we follow. It is no different in the message that William Branham brought to us. Millions have had their lives changed by its realities, and the accompanying power over sin and sickness it packs.
Millions who are already on the other side, and who raised one single voice that they were resting on this message because Brother Branham only taught what Paul taught. Either that event happened beyond the curtain of time, or it did not!
As I pointed out to you additionally at the restaurant. Let any say what they want to about the cloud over Arizona. Be it God creating a cloud that science cannot explain or a rocket. Brother Branham told about it in a vision months before.
So you think it was a rocket ship, fine, but what made it in the shape of a pyramid-like shape that Brother Branham spoke of months before. Moreover, then turn it to the right, and it’s the profile shape of Jesus Christ. I can see it, you can see it, anyone can see it
William Branham never said he was caught up in a cloud. He said he was caught up into a constellation of Angels and was told to go back east for the opening of the seals. Then before he could make a horrible mistake (his words) in teaching them, the pillar of fire, the Angel of the Lord came into his room literally and opened the seals to him, and we have the opening of the seals. That’s the main point!!!!!
This is what you have preached for your entire ministry! Do you now turn around and deny the truth of what you have taught for all these years? You told me more or less that you only needed your Bible and the Holy Ghost experience to preach from. How did you make such an error for 38 years of ministry? How do you hope to secure yourself from error now?
Can you deny any single teaching of the message using the Bible?
I say, no!
Neither can the infidels that you referred to in your letter as sincere men with sincere questions.
They are dishonest men with disingenuous questions. They are ALL backslid and living in the world, attending churches that carry names of blasphemy, are themselves the daughters of harlotry to the mother whore and are in support of the beast system that leads to his marking.
Shall you follow them in their insidious ways and turn away from a man who never had a railing accusation against his testimony? A humble servant of God who proved the infallibility of God’s Bible?
A humble servant of God who demonstrated for 33 years of ministry that Jesus Christ was alive, and the same yesterday today and forever, and he did it seven times around the world?
Seriously Brother ????????
I have made a challenge around the world for my many years of ministry. Preaching this very message on six of the seven continents of the earth myself personally. I have challenged all to disprove any single doctrine from the message that William Branham brought to us. I have never found anyone who can do it. They can’t do it, you can’t do it, I can’t do it, no one can do it.
The message of the hour is the restoration of the original teachings as Jesus promised it would be. Did not Jesus promise that Elijah would truly first come and restore all things? Do you now believe that Jesus was wrong?
Can this message be proven wrong using a Bible? It is impossible!
If William Branham was not that man, then who is pray tell?
Are you ready now to join those who now deny that Malachi 4, Revelation 10, or Luke 17 even mean what we say they do? Was there not to be a restoration at the end time of the original truth? Will you now forsake all that the Holy Ghost has taught you all of these years and confirmed to you through signs and wonders?
It leaves me astonished at you, my dear old friend.
My heart is deeply troubled to find out now that you have actually been going sideways against Brother Branham for some number of years already. Have you operated under the radar as a secret unbeliever?
Have you continued to be a pretend believer of William Branham while you received the tithing and support of message people who hold him so dear?
Have you been a wolf in sheep's clothing?
What do you say to these things Brother?
That would make you a deceiver of the highest order, and all right while you yourself are calling William Branham a deceiver. That would be a horror of horrors, and you would be the pot calling the kettle black.
My friend and brother of these many years, surely these things can’t be true of you. But they have every evidence of being so. I am so glad that my father and your father are not present to hear of this or your dear precious mother, God rest her gallant believer's heart.
Your dad spent the last years of his life even traveling back to India in his old age, proclaiming what God had done in his day. Here we are this close to the finish line, this close to our great day that we have waited for since we were boys, and you are wavering now?
Let it not be so brother! God forbid! Come to your senses my dear old friend.
All of the men whose poisonous influence you have fallen under have all backslid and forsaken holiness. Do you think that darkness will not take you as well? Do you not remember that Jesus warned that the darkness was even greater when light has gone out? This is a delusion by Satan brother, and I implore you to come out of your spiritual amnesia before it’s too late, if it’s not already!
The validity and life-changing power of this message is overwhelmingly proven the world over daily and has been for decades. Yes, some men have defamed the name of the message and the name of Christ, but that has been in every age and every great movement since the days of Jesus and the apostles.
Philippians 3:18 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Now you feel disdain for the message because of their actions, but don't forget that they have defamed Christ as well. Do you also feel disdain toward Christ because of unfaithful men who claimed to believe and follow him falsely? Would you now forsake him because of his so-called followers who were false?
You may feel that this is a silly argument, but likewise, nothing of what you're doing makes any reasonable sense either my friend. I fear you have allowed the teacher of Eve to reason the Word of God away from you just like he did to her.
As I said on Tuesday night, what other message or movement would you point to that has more accurately manifested the long-awaited restoration that we were promised?
If you think this one is not it then which one is it?
If you think William Branham was not that Elijah then who?
Surely, blindness has not taken your understanding of Scripture to believe that no Elijah was coming to us at all like some who have left now proclaim.
What other message or movement could you point to that turns people more into the living image of the living Word than this message? Perhaps you imagine that you can keep the teachings and discard the messenger, but you already know that no message from the Lord can be separated from the messenger that He uses to bring it through.
Do you honestly think that you could discredit the prophet who brought it and somehow believe you can hang on to its body of doctrine? Would this not be the greatest example of that which is so close it would deceive the very elected if possible. I can't imagine a scenario more befitting that scripture.
It can’t be closer than when would try to keep the message but toss the messenger who packed it.
You say that there is no power of God in our churches. Well, you are just wrong, period.
We have miracles all the time in our church here, and I know of miracles that take place in other message churches in North America and around the world regularly.
I don't know what's going on at your church, but the power of God is moving in many other assemblies that I could name. Demons are being cast out, young people filled with the Holy Ghost, marriages restored, even the dead are being raised. People are coming out of the world, coming into Christ from desperate situations of sin.
People are being changed from the inside out under the banner of this message.
The Bible clearly prophesied that the message that would come to us was a restoration of the Word made flesh, and therefore the message that was to come would be Christ! You certainly can't separate Christ from his Word.
You are making a horrible mistake if you carry on down this path.
If you do continue down this path, then mark the words of your friend well; I am neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I've seen how this goes in every situation, and it will be the same for you.
You will burn down your ministry, burn down your testimony, burn down your family, your church, and all of those who follow you. You will doom yourself to a lake of fire because it will be nothing less than trampling the blood of the covenant underfoot and calling Christ, the Word in this day, an unholy thing.
You want to do the works of God; these are the works of God, to believe on him whom God had sent. God sent Jesus Christ in an earthly ministry 20 centuries ago, and that same Christ has been sent again into our day in a three-stage coming of shout, voice, and trumpet to take a bride in a rapture.
Don't forsake your own mercies, my friend. Repent quickly!!!
With sincere prayer that my words will be an arrow of deliverance and find their mark.
Yours in Christ