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William Branham claimed he had a series of eight prophetic visions in June 1933. In the first vision, Franklin D. Roosevelt picked on the Germans and started the Second World War. William Branham stopped telling this part of the prophecy in 1961, but still maintained that there were seven other major parts to the 1933 vision that were "Thus Saith The Lord".
1960 retelling of the 1933 prophecy
I'd like to read you a prophecy that was given... This one first. I speak this in the Name of the Lord. The president which now is, President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Now remember, this is twenty-eight years ago.) will cause the whole world to go to war. (Now, look what happened now.) In...President Franklin D. Roosevelt took America to England's tea party. That's right. Germany never picked on us; we picked on them, throwed the whole world into a war, to cause a world war. (Condemnation by Representation, November 13, 1960)
Problems with the prophecy
In the Laodicean Church Age book, William Branham says, “Now let me say this. Can anyone prove any of those visions wrong? Were they not all fulfilled?” Over 80 years after 1933, we now have the benefit of hindsight in our ability to confirm the accuracy of these prophecies.
Why would he mention Roosevelt a number of times but not in respect of the prophecy?
William Branham mentioned President Roosevelt at least ten times in his sermons prior to the first telling of this prophecy. Why did never mention his prophecy regarding Roosevelt prior to September 1958?
He Ignored Pearl Harbour
The USA did not lead the world into WWII, as William Branham stated that he had prophecied. In fact, the United States stayed out of the conflict until 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. It is not clear how William Branham omitted this fact, as he preached about Pearl Harbour a number of times, condemning the soldiers for their revelry.
William Branham must have realized his error, because when the Church Ages Book was published in 1965 it included the statement that "an Austrian by the name of Adolph Hitler would rise up as dictator over Germany, and that he would draw the world into war." There is no reference to Roosevelt in the Church Age Book.
William Branham didn't like FDR
On December 4, 1960 William Branham said, "There it is on paper as the Holy Spirit said...America with this President Roosevelt will be the rascal of all of them." And that's right; he was." William Branham's earlier statements about FDR disclose that he thought his 4 term leadership was a "dictatorship" (May 1954), and he condemned him for bringing in Catholic holidays (December 1954).
Changes in the prophecy over time
The prophecy was written down, so each retelling of it should have been consistent. However, William Branham never mentions Roosevelt in connection with the 1933 prophecies until September 1958. At first, FDR would run for four terms (Thus Saith The Lord). By 1960, William Branham says the vision showed FDR picking on the Germans and starting WWII. Then, in December 1960 this changes so that FDR only "helped" the world go to war (with "Thus Saith The Lord"). In 1961 this changes back to the original version so that FDR runs for four terms, and then the prophecy disappears. This is the only part in the series of 1933 visions that does not make it into the summary of the 1933 visions in the Church Ages Book.
A summary of the prophecies over time include:
- 1958: FDR would run for four terms. 
- 1960: In the Name of the Lord, FDR would pick on the Germans and cause the whole world to go to war. 
- 1960: FDR would cause WWII. 
- 1960: FDR would lead the world to war. 
- 1960: Predicted FDR would lead the world to war. 
- 1960: FDR helped cause the world to go to war. 
- 1961: Written in a book that FDR would be president when the world went to war. 
- 1961: FDR would help lead the world into war with Germany. 
- 1961: Written on paper, FDR would help cause the world to go to war, "Thus Saith The Lord." 
- 1961: FDR would be President in four terms, and the world would go to war. 
The explanation for the failed vision
We have received several comments that refer to secret Polish documents that purport to prove that President Roosevelt was secretly campaigning to incite war in Europe. As proof, they point to a website that contains an article detailing the sordid details of Roosevelt's plot. The problem is that the website that they refer to is well known as an antisemitic pseudo-scholarly body with links to neo-Nazi organizations. Its primary purpose is to disseminate views denying key facts of Nazism. It has been described as the "world's leading Holocaust denial organization." This is evident by an article on the front page of the website in support of Rudolph Hess, a convicted war criminal.
The fact is that this information is not only completely unproven, but also totally at odds with the work of reputable historical scholars.
Why do we receive comments like this? The reason is that people who believe that William Branham was a prophet become frustrated when confronted with a false statement by their beloved prophet. This is known as cognitive dissonance, and often results in Message Believers grasping at straws, or conspiracy theories, in order to keep the status quo of their lives. It is disturbing to think you are "a special elect" one minute, only to realize that you are deceived. As a result, it is mentally and emotionally easier to cling to anything that would support William Branham as a true prophet.
- Laodicean Church Age, Chapter 9
- It also said what would take place, and about Roosevelt and them things, how he would run and make that fourth term. Perfectly, just exactly the way it come to pass... that's THUS SAITH THE LORD." (September 27, 1958, Jeffersonville, Indiana)
- I'd like to read you a prophecy that was given...This one first. I speak this in the Name of the Lord. The president which now is, President Franklin D. Roosevelt... (Now remember, this is twenty-eight years ago.) will cause the whole world to go to war... Now, look what happened now. In... President Franklin D. Roosevelt took America to England's tea party. That's right. Germany never picked on us; we picked on them, throwed the whole world into a war, to cause a world war. (Condemnation by Representation, November 13, 1960)
- Said, "We now have a president (Dwi... Mr. Roosevelt), and this Mr. Roosevelt will cause the world to go into a world war through his--in his time of his administration, his--his--as president," (Conference, November 25, 1960)
- How many remembers that vision here in the church? Sure. Said that how that even Kennedy would be elected in this last election. How that women would be permitted to vote. How that Roosevelt would take the world to war. (The Ephesian Church Age, December 5 1960)
- And I seen this President Roosevelt leading the world to a world war: predicted. (The Thyatirean Church Age, December 8, 1960)
- But the Lord showed me a vision of the great powerful woman, in '33, 1933, it's on paper. Of how that Roosevelt would cause... He helped cause the world to go to war. (The Laodicean Church Age, December 11, 1960)
- I picked up an old book there that the--the Lord had gave me a vision in 1933 when I just first become a minister, going down to the Baptist Tabernacle. And He gave me a vision that morning, and I seen the first one I remember of an international affair. And I seen that President Roosevelt that was in then, and seen that we'd go to a world war. (Why, January 28,1961) and And immediately after that, Mr. Roosevelt--truly in the time of his administration here--the world went to war.(Turning Northward, January 29, 1961)
- 1933, one morning going to the Baptist tabernacle, I went into a trance, saw a vision. I saw President Roosevelt was going to help lead the world to a world war, told it that morning. They was going to lock me up for it. And I said, "They'll go to war with Germany." (Jehovah Jireh, March 12,1961)
- I seen it, thirty--1931. Seven things happened. I got it right on paper here with me, wrote it in 1931. How that I said, "This President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, he will cause all the world, help do it, send the world to war." Hadn't come to war yet, during times of depression. I said, "Another thing..." And my mother, a square-back Democrat, if she didn't look at me hard when I said that. I said, "I don't care if there's a Republican or if he was a Socialist or whatever he is, this is THUS SAITH THE LORD." (Jezebel Religion, March 19,1961)
- ...said, "The President that now is (I copied this off of the old Scripture--old thing yesterday)--that the President that we now have, which was (how many remembers whose it was?) Franklin D. Roosevelt..." I said, "The President we have in now will run even in the fourth term (He's on his first then.)--will run into the fourth term, and we will be taken to a second world war." (The Seventieth Week of Daniel, August 6, 1961)