William Branham believed that the world would end in 1977.
Some interesting things about his prediction
There are a number of curious things about William Branham's 1977 prediction:
- On July 4, 1954, the healing evangelist, A.A. Allen had a vision about the destruction of America which he related publicly.
- In 1954, William Branham states on several occasions that a majority of scientists predicted that the world would be destroyed within 10 years.
- Months later, William Branham first tells of his prediction/vision in 1933 that the US would be destroyed and that it would take place by 1977.
Was this simply another case of William Branham plagiarizing someone else's teaching?
Prediction vs. Prophecy
William Branham said "I predict (I do not prophesy)".
William Branham said ‘Thus saith the Lord” almost 1600 times during his ministry. It is interesting that he actually realized he could completely destroy his legacy with a prophecy that was incorrect as to exact timing. As a result, he waffled on the date.
He was nevertheless extremely irresponsible in quoting a date, given that he was aware of all of the people that revered him as a prophet. Prior to 1977, William Branham's followers were all fixated on 1977 as it approached. This resulted in a number of Doomsday cults such as Paulaseer Lowrie's Rapture cult in India, as well as Jim Jones cult in Guyana that committed mass suicide in 1978 (possibly during the 'tribulation' after they 'missed the rapture').
The ensuing failure of William Branham's prediction resulted in a number of his followers leaving the message.
On the flip side, William Branham also said the following about his 1977 "prediction" (see quotes below):
- It was made with "divine inspiration".
- He told people - "Don't miss it!"
- God would have to come before the year 2000 or "there'll be no flesh saved".
- If the world didn't end by 1977, at the very least "this great nation is going to strike a war that's going to blow it to bits".
What William Branham said about 1977
I heard a radio broadcast recently, where the majority of the great scientists of the world, give the world ten years before total annihilation. Ten more years, now, that's just guesswork.
Then I heard on the radio the other day that the biggest part of scientists of the world, give the world ten years to total annihilation. That's not Scripturally speaking; that's scientifically speaking: Ten years for total annihilation. That won't contradict the Bible, just what the Bible said. The heavens and the earth will be on fire. Just sweep over these deserts and everything. There will be nothing left.
And, remember, I predict that before the great total annihilation, which I don't say the Lord told me this, but I believe there'll be something happen either between now or at that time in '77. It may come…?… at this hour. But between now and '77, I predict that either a great destruction or a total annihilation of the entire earth, between now and '77; I predicted it in 1933.
Then I seen the United States as one smoldering, burnt-over place. It will be near the end. (Then I've got in parenthesis: "I predict that this will take place." Now, remember, the Lord ne... That's what the Lord showed, but "I predict this will take place before 1977.") Upon this prediction, I base, because of the onrushing slaught that's coming now, how fast that it was moving, how long it'll take till this nation meets its place.
Then I turned to look and I seen the United States was a smoldering something had burned it up. And down beneath there I said, not in the trance, but, "I predict..." (remember this, I guess this is taped too), "I predict that these things will take place between now, 1933 and 1977." Which will give us sixteen more years if my prediction strikes right.
Now, there was seven things spoke of that would happen. Five of them has already happened. There's two left to take place. It'll be that way. That's in the Name of the Lord it shall be that way. See? Oh, He's great. [Someone speaks in tongues--Ed.] [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.] Father, for Your Spirit for the... [Blank.spot.on.tape--Ed.]
Upon the people, the gifts that's in the Church. We thank Thee, Lord, for they speak in unity. They speak in unity of Thy coming. The prophets, the speakers with tongues, the interpreters, all are warning us. The hour is at hand, and truly we believe that it's later than we think. May we prepare our hearts and souls for the coming of the Lord.
And at 1906 the Laodicean church age set in, and I don't know when it'll end, but I predict it'll be done by 1977. I predict, not the Lord told me, but I predict it according to a vision that was showed me some years ago, that five of those things has (out of the seven)--has already taken place about...
And I said, "I seen, looked like there was stumps burning; rocks, blowed out; and the whole United States just looked bare, laying like that, as far as I could see where I was standing." And I said, "I predict, according to the way time is moving, it'll be sometime between this year '33 and '77." And it'll have to squeeze awful hard to get through there.
We believe that the Laodicean church started in A.D. 1906. I predict... Now, remember, "predict," especially you listening at the tape. I don't say it will be, but predict that it will end by 1977, that the church will go completely into apostasy, and she'll be ousted out of the mouth of God. And the second coming, or the rapture of Christ, might come any time. Now, I could miss that a year; I can miss it twenty years, I could miss it a hundred years. I don't know where. But I just predict that according to a vision He showed me, and taking the time, the way it's progressing, I say it'll be sometime between '33 and '77. At--at least, this great nation is going to strike a war that's going to blow it to bits. See? Now, that's pretty close; it's awful close. And I could be wrong; I'm predicting. Everybody understand say, "amen" if you do.
Now, counting the time, we find that we have exactly (Listen.) seventeen years left, and we will have the same span of time given to us as God dealing with us in the power of the Holy Spirit since A.D. 33 until 1977, the same span of time of 1954 years. God deals with us the same as He did with the Jews. See? How about that?
Now, mark down in your book a little Scripture here I want to give you. Leviticus 25, begin with the 8th verse. God calls a jubilee every forty-ninth year; the fiftieth year was the jubilee. We know that. We understand that. From the first jubilee of Leviticus 25:8, in 1977 will be the seventieth jubilee, making exactly 3,430 years. Jubilee means the going up, the release.
...Did you get that? God has dealt with us exactly the same amount of time that He dealt with the Jews from the time He give Abraham the promise until the rejecting of the Messiah in A.D. 33, was 1954 years. And now, we have seventeen years left. We had about 1930 something years. We got seventeen years left until '77 will be the seventieth jubilee since the beginning of jubilees. And what will it be? Oh, brother. Watch close now. Don't miss it. It'll be the Jubilee of the going up of the Gentile Bride and the return of Christ to the Jews, when they go out of bondage. Amen. Don't you see? From all the world they've gather there for that day. Oh, my. See where we're at? We don't know what time it might happen. We're at the end time.
And I predicted that there would be some great tragedy happen to this United States before or by the year of 1977. How many remembers me saying that? Look at the hands. Sure...
And here comes around and shows, and then I predicted... I never said the Lord told me that, but standing that morning in the church, I said, "The way progress..." I got back to one end of the wall and run to the other end of the wall, and I said, "The way progress is going on, I'll predict that the time (I don't know why I'm saying it.)--but I predict that that'll all happen between right now, 1933, and 1977. And not knowing it, God knows my heart, I never knowed it until yesterday, that 1977 is the jubilee, and exactly the same amount of time run out that He give with Israel and everything at the end. So we're at... And here we are at the end of the age, at the coming in of the seventieth week. We don't know what time that the church will be gone. Oh, my. What can we do, friends? Where are we at?
Now, what's the next thing? The Seven Seals now. We drop right in on them when the Lord will permit. When that'll be, I don't know. Just whenever He delivers it, then we'll go right into it. Then we're going to have a long, long meeting, 'cause we're going to take from the 6th chapter through the 19th to get through it. And as slow as I am with it...
Now, I do not want anyone to go away misunderstanding this. Tape's still playing? I don't want anyone to misunderstand it. Don't misunderstand now, and say, "Brother Branham said Jesus will come in 1977." I never said no such a thing. Jesus may come today. But I have predicted that between '33 and '77 something would take place, that these things that I seen come to pass in the vision would take place. And five of them has already took place.
The Laodicean Age began around the turn of the Twentieth Century, perhaps 1906. How long will it last? 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. If you will pardon a personal note here, 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. I wrote them all down and that morning I gave forth the revelation of the Lord. The first vision was that Mussolini would invade Ethiopia and that nation would "fall at his steps". That vision surely did cause some repercussions, and some were very angry when I said it and would not believe it. But it happened that way. He just walked in there with his modern arms and took over. The natives didn't have a chance. But the vision also said that Mussolini would come to a horrible end with his own people turning on him. That came to pass just exactly as it was said.
Based on these seven visions, along with the rapid changes which have swept the world in the last fifty years, I PREDICT (I do not prophesy) that these visions will have all come to pass by 1977. And though many may feel that this is an irresponsible statement in view of the fact that Jesus said that 'no man knoweth the day nor the hour.' I still maintain this prediction after thirty years because, Jesus did NOT say no man could know the year, month or week in which His coming was to be completed. So 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 millennium.
What William Branham said about 1982 and the year 2000
This is--this is '64, isn't it? And I think they claim about seventeen years is off of that, so, according to the calendar. And we got '64, 1964, which will make (what is that?) thirty-six years left, to the twenty-first century.
And every two thousand years, the world has come to the end of its world system, religious system, to the end of all systems, and God had to step in. He did in the days of Noah; first two thousand years. The second two thousand years; the system come back to where our text calls, this morning, and He sent again His Word. He sent His Word by a prophet, Noah's time, prophet Noah; and the people rejected It, for their system. He sent His Word again in the time of Jesus, the Word manifested in the fullness; the people rejected It. And now it's 1964, leaving thirty-six years until the even two thousand more years; and the Word has been brought forth, and the system has rejected It.
And, Father, so says our calendar, thirty-six more years and the work will be over, and You'll have to come sometime within that or there'll be no flesh saved. And then we're told, by the chronologists and the--and the people who search such things, that we are absolutely advanced many, many years from that, many years on up. They tell us, by the calendars, that we are way up further than that; maybe there's only fifteen or twenty years left. I don't know, Father. But I know, even according to our calendar, we're almost there.
And if He don't cut the work short, for the Elected sake! There is some elected to Eternal Life, we know that; all of them are, that's got Eternal Life. And if they--and if they... or then He don't cut it short, for their sake, no flesh will be saved. The world has met its doom, every two thousand years. We know the system has fell apart. It fell apart in the days of Noah. Days of Christ, it fell apart. And here is 1964 coming up, what does it leave? Thirty-six years to another two thousand; the twenty-first, twenty-first century coming up. What happens? The work still has got to be cut short. Jesus said, the--the corruption of this day, "The elected would be deceived and wouldn't be saved, if it would be possible." There we are. And the calendar tells us, according to science, that we're about fifteen years off of that. We're behind on the Roman calendar, according to the Jewish calendar, that we're fifteen, twenty years behind on that.
Listen, if the Roman calendar is right, we got -six... we got thirty-six years left. Every two thousand years, the world meets her end. First two thousand years, destroyed by water; second two thousand years, Christ come. This is 1964 coming up; thirty-six years. Now, the Egyptian astronomy calendar says we're seventeen years out, "it's seventeen years advanced from that," that would leave nineteen years left.
- William Branham, 54-0301, The Angel Of The Covenant, para. 5
- William Branham, 54-0307A, The End Time, para. 37
- William Branham, 56-0513, Teaching On Moses, para. 21
- CONDEMNATION.BY.REPRESENTATION_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-13 SUNDAY_ 60-1113
- CONFERENCE_ SHREVEPORT.LA FRIDAY_ 60-1125
- THE.EPHESIAN.CHURCH.AGE_ JEFF.IN ROJC 131-183 MONDAY_ 60-1205
- William Branham, 60-1208, The Thyatirean Church Age, para. 233
- THE.LAODICEAN.CHURCH.AGE_ JEFF.IN 60-1211E
- William Branham, THE SEVENTIETH WEEK OF DANIEL, JEFF.IN, 61-0806, para. 196-198
- THE.SEVENTIETH.WEEK.OF.DANIEL_ JEFF.IN 61-0806
- 321-3 LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE - CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.9
- WHAT.SHALL.I.DO.WITH.JESUS.CALLED.CHRIST_ JEFF.IN V-6 N-6 SUNDAY_ 63-1124M
- THREE.KINDS.OF.BELIEVERS_ JEFF.IN V-3 N-6 SUNDAY_ 63-1124E
- THE.WORLD.IS.AGAIN.FALLING.APART_ SHP.LA V-17 N-4 WEDNESDAY_ 63-1127
- THERE.IS.A.MAN.HERE.THAT.CAN.TURN.ON.THE.LIGHT_ JEFF.IN V-6 N-1 SUNDAY_ 63-1229M