Front and back of a signed prayer card, asking for all the information he would later 'discern'.
Some followers of William Branham admit that their "prophet" did make mistakes, but these were all minor. They also state that we must avoid examining those mistakes but simply look at when he was under the "anointing" when the "Angel" was standing beside him.
Some of his followers, having been exposed to several critical flaws in the fundamental teachings of William Branham, even acknowledge that the sermons themselves contain several errors, but the prayer lines were "God's voice to us."
The following articles deal with errors and problems with William Branham's discernment ministry:
You are currently on the page that is in bold.
This article deals with one specific discernment from the audience in 1959.
Calling a person out of the audience - April 11, 1959
At a meeting on the evening of April 11, 1959 in a meeting in Los Angeles, California, William Branham calls out a person from the audience
- Right straight back, the back of this place here, about middle ways of this aisle, there's a little--there's a woman, and she's suffering with a high blood pressure. She--she's not from here, she a Finn. She's from Finland. If you believe, sister, you receive your healing. "Jumalan rauhaa," rise up to your feet and accept your healing and be made well. God bless you. "Kiitos Jesus." Hallelujah! What was I saying?
William Branham retells the incident in the next service
The next evening, April 12, 1959 (also in Los Angeles), William Branham relates what happened the previous evening:
- Visions to me are just like a trance. And they were telling me of a woman that I had called back in--somewhere in the audiences, and had told her that a certain affliction had gripped her. But she was--couldn't understand me because she didn't--she was from a--another country, a Finnish woman. And then the Holy Spirit, to show that He's no respect of person, spoke through here, and called her name, and told her to bless God. Spoke in a language that I didn't know, and called the woman, and give who she was, and something about to--the Lord's blessings upon her, something another, in Finnish language. I don't even know English, let alone Finnish. So it goes to show that God speaks in all the languages and all human beings belong to Him. How wonderful.
But is that what happened?
What actually happened
While William Branham described this event as an astonishing display of God's power to speak through his prophet in the Finnish language, any who examine the "supernatural" event are a bit shocked at how little "God" actually spoke.
But when you review the details of this event on the night prior to Branham's claim, we only find two phrases Branham spoke in Finnish, "Jumalan rauhaa," and "Kiitos". And during the course of these words coming out in the sermon, Branham claims not to have known what he was saying.
There is just one problem with William Branham's claim - He had been to Finland. And these words, which he claimed not to have known, were repeatedly used throughout his ministry when speaking to those who knew the Finnish language. Eight years earlier, in 1951, William Branham referred to his trip to Finland. Interestingly, he mentioned learning the exact words that he claimed to have came to him in an "unknown language" in 1959:
- Now, we were in Finland, or England; we flew to Finland right away to start. At Helsinki we had a marvelous congregation. The Finnish people are so lovely and sweet. And many times when I think about how poor they are there, and how much that we ritzy Americans have, we should be ashamed of ourself. That's--that's right. Those poor people... There's a Finnish woman come on the platform the other night. And I was trying to keep myself under anointing, but when she passed she said, "Jumalan rauhaa," that's "God's peace upon you." And I said, "Kiitos," to her, it means "thank you."
To be fair, we must give William Branham the benefit of the doubt. Some followers of William Branham claim that he suffered from a very poor memory, and that his many conflicting statements are a result of his inability to remember important facts. Did William Branham remember these words after having learned them in Finland? It would appear that he did. He continued to use them each time he encountered a Finnish-speaking person in a prayer line or on the streets:
- Your blessings still rest in Finland. God bless this woman, and may her letters cross the sea telling of her being healed. In the Name of Jesus Christ I ask it. Amen. Now, Jumalan rauhaa.
- [Finnish brother speaking: And that very great service with Brother Branham and his party was doing in Finland, it is still growing and bringing fruit for God's work. Praise the Lord."--Ed.] Amen. God bless you, brother there. So glad to get to see you again. God bless you. Jumalan rauhaa. God bless you. Let's say, "Praise the Lord," everybody. All the way from Finland.
- Is there another Finn in here? The other night someone hollered, "Jumalan rauhaa," at me, passing over the platform that was healed.
- As the Finns would say, many of them in here, "Jumalan rauhaa." That's "God's peace rest upon you."
- Oh, Jumalan rauhaa. God's mercy to the people.
- Anything that'll make a Finn put his arm around Russian and a Russian around a Finn, will settle every war. Jesus Christ is the answer. Yes, sir. They had nothing against one another. They wept and cried and hollered, "Jumalan rauhaa," that's "God's peace rest upon you." 
- Amen. God bless you, brother. God be Jumalan rauhaa.
- And I was passing through here the other night, and the custodian said he was from Finland and his people was from Finland. I spoke a few words of Finnish to him. And I said, "Kiitos" and "Jumalan rauhaa." And he looked at me. "Kiitos" is "thank you," and "Jumalan rauhaa" is "God's peace be upon you." And so I think I'd speak a few words in German, and they'd be a whole lot of people understand me.
- Jumalan rauhaa. Now, the man cannot speak English. He's Finnish. But I'll make signs to him what's wrong, if God will tell me. You, preacher. Now, it's over. Jumalan rauhaa. Kiitos.
The only conclusion one can make
When William Branham stated that he spoke to a Finnish woman in a language that he didn't understand. He was telling the truth. But the truth was also that he did know three Finnish words and those were the only words he spoke.
The question has to be asked - Why was William Branham intentionally deceptive?
- Although William Branham did not know the Finnish language, he did know 3 words.
- He gave away that he knew exactly what he said in Finnish when he told the audience that the "Holy Spirit" told her to bless God. Spoke in a language that I didn't know, and called the woman, and give who she was, and something about to--the Lord's blessings upon her, something another, in Finnish language.
- How did William Branham know she was Finnish?
- How did he know what the "Holy Spirit" said in an unknown tongue?
- When William Branhan asked the deceptive question - What was I saying? - he knew the answer.
Paul rejected this kind of deception:
- But we have rejected shameful hidden deeds, not behaving with deceptiveness or distorting the word of God, but by open proclamation of the truth we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience before God.
Was Paul referring to men like William Branham when he stated this?
- I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
The more difficult issue is the doubt that this incident casts over William Branham's entire discernment ministry. It is obvious that he lied about his "speaking in tongues". But how did he know that the woman was Finnish? Did he make that up too? Or, as some have supposed, did Billy Paul work the crowd as they entered prior to the service and simply supply his dad with the information. Did this information come from the prayer cards or from talking to people in the audience prior to them taking their seats? We will never know for sure but this kind of evidence throws significant doubt on an important aspect of William Branham's "supernatural" ministry.
Thanks to the former message minister who discovered this
We want to thank the former pastor of a message church for bringing this to the attention of the world.
We can only imagine how hard it must be for a pastor who has preached these things for decades. To have preached from the sermons is to have examined them. And to have examined them is to have encountered many problems such as this. To have preached them to their congregations in error is a huge burden to bear after leaving. It is a pastor's duty, as shepherd, to lead the sheep in the right direction.
After discovering these things, shepherds bear the burden of correcting the error. Thankfully, some of the pastors who leave the message are doing just that.
But what about the translators? What about those who are tasked with interpreting these contradictions? What about those who had to interpret "Jumalan rauhaa," and were fully aware of Branham's trip to Finland?
Do former translators suffer the same emotions as former pastors? Do those currently trapped in the message battle a "tug-of-war" in their minds as they translate that which they know is not true?
- ↑ William Branham, 59-0411E
- ↑ William Branham, 1959, 59-0412A
- ↑ William Branham, 51-0728
- ↑ William Branham, 51-0728
- ↑ William Branham, 51-0729E
- ↑ William Branham, 51-0729E
- ↑ William Branham, 52-0720E
- ↑ William Branham, 53-0905
- ↑ William Branham, 53-1106
- ↑ William Branham, 53-1130
- ↑ William Branham, 56-0122
- ↑ William Branham, 56-0407
- ↑ Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), 2 Co 4:2.
- ↑ Romans 16:17-18, ESV