List of Issues with the Message

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This page is a master list of all of the issues that have come to our attention in respect to William Branham and his message. It summarizes, in the form of a list of questions, virtually all of the research we have conducted since 2004 with respect to William Branham. Click on any of the questions or colored links to read further details on the issue.

THE CHALLENGE

If you disagree with anything that you might find on this website, please prove us wrong. Honestly, we don't want this website to contain any incorrect information.

OUR PROMISE

If you are aware of any errors/problems/concerns with any on our website, please let us know by email or by a message to us on our Facebook page. We will correct any factual errors as quickly as possible.

Some followers of William Branham have suggested that it is wrong to highlight these issues. However, we believe it is not only right but that we are required to tell people the information we have found.

The List of Questions

The purpose of this list is to provide a short concise summary of all known issues that can be used as a quick reference guide when discussing any concerns relating to William Branham, his message or those that follow him. Our aim is to provide a detailed explanation for each issue, as well as our detailed research. To the extent that the specific question does not link to anything, it simply means we have not had the time to research the issue as yet.

Was William Branham really a prophet?

The scriptural test of a prophet is clear as outlined by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:

But if any prophet presumes to speak anything in my name that I have not authorized him to speak, or speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet must die. Now if you say to yourselves, ‘How can we tell that a message is not from the LORD?’ — whenever a prophet speaks in my name and the prediction is not fulfilled, then I have not spoken it; the prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.”[1]

While at first we found this almost impossible to believe, we have been unable to locate a single unambiguous prophecy that was made in advance in a public forum (on tape) and that was later clearly fulfilled. However, there are numerous examples of visions that were made publicly which failed (were not fulfilled) and prophecies that changed drastically over time. If you click on the individual lines below, they will take you to a detailed explanation of each issue.

How can William Branham be a true prophet of God if he failed the test of Deut 18:20-22?

Here is our list of questions related to William Branham's prophetic ministry. Please click on the link to go to a detailed discussion of the question:

  1. Did William Branham prophesy the election of Kamala Harris? (Vague Prophecy?)
  2. Why did William Branham predict the Catholic church would never apologize when they did? (Failed Prophecy?)
  3. Did William Branham predict his own death? (Prophecy about William Branham?)
  4. Will the Roman Catholic church take over the world monetary system? (False Prophecy?)
  5. The Tent Vision (Failed Prophecy?)
  6. What did William Branham prophesy about Billy Graham? Did the prophecy come to pass? (Failed Prophecy or a Lie?)
  7. Did William Branham make any REAL prophecies? (We can't find any before the fact prophecies on any tape!)
  8. Why did William Branham say that the municipal bridge vision was fulfilled when it clearly wasn't? (Failed Prophecy?)
  9. Why did William Branham say "Thus Saith The Lord" that he would shoot a large brown bear, when he didn't? (Failed Prophecy?)
  10. Why did the vision that William Branham had of the meetings in south Africa fail to be fulfilled? (Failed Prophecy?)
  11. The Seven Ten Prophecies of 1933
    1. Why did William Branham prophecy that America would start World War 2? (Prophecy Changed/Failed Prophecy?)
    2. Was Mussloni's invasion of Ethiopia really his last invasion? (Prophecy Changed/Failed Prophecy?)
    3. Why did William Branham's prophecy of Hitler change over time? (Prophecy Changed?)
    4. Did Facism, Nazisim and Communism really unite into Communism? (Failed Prophecy?)
    5. Did the prophecy of egg-shaped come from William Branham's visit to the 1933 World's Fair? ("After the Fact" Prophecy?)
    6. Was William Branham's prophecy of a driverless car based on a Disney TV program? ("After the Fact" Prophecy?)
    7. Are women really going to wear a fig leaf apron and go topless? (Failed Prophecy?)
    8. Did women elect the wrong person or was it the men's vote? ("After the Fact" Prophecy/Failed Prophecy?)
    9. Why did William Branham state that the prophecy of the rise of the cruel woman in America was already fulfilled? (Failed Prophecy?)
    10. Why did William Branham change his prophecy of the destruction of America? (Prophecy Changed?)
  12. Why is Los Angeles still above water if Billy Paul is an old man? (Failed Prophecy?)
  13. Was William Branham's death before the Rapture a failed prophecy? (Failed Prophecy?)
  14. Why did William Branham state that Martin Luther King, Jr. would cause the death of millions, when this didn't happen? (Not a prophecy?)
  15. Was William Branham's vision of Marilyn Monroe's death accurate? (Failed Prophecy?)
  16. Why did William Branham change the vision of the angels appearing? (Prophecy Changed?)
  17. Why did William Branham predict that the USA would be destroyed by 1977? (Failed Prophecy?)
  18. Was the meeting of Nikita Khrushchev and Dwight Eisenhower the fulfillment of Daniel chapter 2? (Failed Prophecy?)
  19. Will Russia destroy the Vatican? (Failed Prophecy?)
  20. Why did William Branham say that man would never land on the moon... but the communists might? (Failed Prophecy?)
  21. Was the prophecy of the World Council of Churches accurate? (Failed Prophecy?)
  22. If the vision of the Plum and Apple Trees was from God, why did William Branham change his mind about it in 1965? (Prophecy Changed?)
  23. Did William Branham ever pray for "kings, monarchs, potentates, and great men of the world." (Failed Prophecy?)
  24. Was the prophecy of the 1964 Alaska earthquake made after the fact? ("After the Fact" Prophecy?)
  25. What is the Third Pull? Was it prophetic? (Vague Prophecy?)
  26. Did William Branham really prophecy where he would live? ("After the Fact" Prophecy?)
  27. Why did William Branham mention the Ohio river flood years before he told of his prophecy without saying anything about it? ("After the Fact" Prophecy?)
  28. Is Florida going under as well? (Ambiguous prophecy?)
  29. Did William Branham prophesy his own death? (Not a prophecy?)
  30. Why did William Branham's original commissioning vision disappear? (Vision abandoned by William Branham?)
  31. Was the birth of Joseph Branham foretold? (Ambiguous prophecy?)
  32. Was the death of Florence Shakarian prophesied before she died? (Ambiguous prophecy?)
  33. Was William Branham's ministry foretold in a Santa Rosa church? ("After the Fact" Prophecy?)
  34. Were Dead Raised in William Branham's Ministry?
  35. Q&A with a message minister relating to William Branham's prophetic ministry
  36. What if William Branham was a Prophet?

If you have a question regarding William Brnaham's prophetic ministry that is not listed above, please contact us by clicking here.

Was William Branham Credible?

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. - Mark Twain

The Bible plainly tells us what is expected of Christian leaders:

An elder must be blameless...[2]
For the overseer must be blameless as one entrusted with God’s work...[3]
The overseer then must be above reproach...[4]
And these also must be tested first and then let them serve as deacons if they are found blameless.[5]

William Branham portrayed himself as a simple, honest, uneducated man who was sent from God as a prophet to fore-run the second coming of Christ. However, many of the stories that he told have been proven to be untrue and many of the doctrines that he said he received directly from God were, in fact, plagiarized from other ministers. If you click on the individual items below, they will take you to a detailed explanation of each issue.

The following is our list of questions related to the credibility of William Branham. Please click on the link to go to a detailed discussion of the question:

  1. Q&A with a message minister relating to William Branham's credibility
  2. Did William Branham visit the graves of Muhammad, Buddha, and Confucius?
  3. Did William Branham visit the Vatican and see the inscription "VICARIVS FILII DEI" above the throne of the Pope?
  4. Did William Branham lie about his prophecy regarding Billy Graham?
  5. Did anyone hear the voice on the Ohio River in 1933?
  6. Did William Branham see a mother eagle carry her babies on her wings?
  7. Why did William Branham say that he was under the cloud when they took its picture, when he clearly wasn't?
  8. Did William Branham travel around the world seven times?
  9. Was William Branham's Bible saved miraculously in the 1937 flood?
  10. Why did the story of the man from Windsor change so drastically over time?
  11. Why did William Branham say that he received his revelations from God when he took many of his doctrines from other men?
  12. Why did William Branham change the story of Congressman Upshaw's healing?
  13. When did William Branham embrace Pentecostalism?
  14. Was Donny Morton really healed?
  15. Did William Branham speak in an unknown tongue that a Finnish woman understood?
  16. Was it reasonable for William Branham to blame his poor grammar on his dad?
  17. Did William Branham prayer for King George VI and was he really healed?
  18. Did William Branham raise a boy from the dead in Finland?
  19. Who was Hope Branham's Nurse?
  20. Was Florence Nightingale the granddaughter of the original Florence Nightingale?
  21. Did the Pillar of Fire really appear above William Branham's head in Houston? Why did other pictures from that evening appear in the newspaper, when he said his picture was the only one that turned out?
  22. Was William Branham truthful about asking Hope's parents for her hand in marriage?
  23. If only sissies wear shorts, why did William Branham wear them?
  24. How could William Branham have allowed Leo Mercer to be part of his ministry?
  25. Did William Branham claim to be a prophet?
  26. Was William Branham born under a Nazarite Vow?
  27. Was William Branham's discernment 100% accurate?
  28. Was William Branham's ministry always 100%?
  29. What was in the cornerstone of Branham Tabernacle?
  30. Why was William Branham dishonest about his son's first marriage?
  31. Why was the vision of the five angels changed to a vision of seven angels?
  32. Why did William Branham say that he was at Sunset Mountain when he was actually at Rattlesnake Mesa?
  33. Why did William Branham make up the story of the Pyramid Box?
  34. Why did William Branham's stories change so radically over time?
  35. Was William Branham really the first fruits of spiritual maturity? The perfect man?
  36. Was the photo from Houston supernatural or just the out of focus picture of a flood light?
  37. Did William Branham see an amber light?
  38. Did William Branham help to launch the ministry of Jim Jones?
  39. Was Marshal Matt Dillon from Gunsmoke a real person?
  40. Is Joseph Branham a prophet?
  41. Was there a Mormon prophecy about William Branham?
  42. Did Danny Henry's prophecy take place?
  43. How did William Branham view himself?
  44. Was William Branham a wealthy man when he died?
  45. If God spoke through William Branham, why did he mess up?
  46. If it was wrong to kill animals for sport, why did William Branham do it?
  47. Why did William Branham deny that he went to movies 3 weeks after admitting that he did?
  48. Why did William Branham criticize those who drove Cadillac's when he owned one?
  49. Why did William Branham criticize women that cut their hair and wore short skirts, when his own family did?
  50. What actually happened to Hattie Wright's boys?
  51. Why did William Branham say he went to William Cowper's grave when he didn't?
  52. Why did William Branham say William Cowper committed suicide when he died of heart failure?
  53. Why did William Branham state the Stephen Foster committed suicide, when this is not true?
  54. Was there really a connection between the Pope visiting israel in 1964 and the lunar eclipse that preceded his visit?

Are William Branham's teachings in agreement with the Bible?

If you study the message, you will find that William Branham departed significantly from the plain meaning of scripture in many things that he taught. If you click on the individual items below, they will take you to a detailed explanation of each issue.

The following is our list of questions related to the doctrinal teachings of William Branham. Please click on the link to go to a detailed discussion of the question:

  1. Was Adam first created as a "spirit being" or is this Mormon doctrine?
  2. Is it permissible for women to wear pants?
  3. Was Time Created as a Result of Sin?
  4. Who got naked first? Adam or Eve?
  5. Why did William Branham teach that some Christians were required to believe Satanic doctrine to be saved?
  6. Elijah and Elisha prayed. So why did William Branham say they didn't?
  7. Why did William Branham disagree with the doctrine of the clarity of scripture, a long held doctrine of the church?
  8. William Branham believed he was the fulfillment of Revelation 10:7. Was he correct?
  9. Did God change Saul's name to Paul?
  10. William Branham taught that eagles typed prophets in the Bible. Where is this found in scripture?
  11. William Branham believed that if a wife cuts her hair, her husband can divorce her. Does the Bible teach this?
  12. William Branham believed that a man can remarry after divorce but a woman can't. Why did william Branham preach something that neither Jesus or Paul did?
  13. Were there any times when William Branham's "Thus Saith The Lord" actually failed?
  14. Why did William Branham disagree with the Bible and teach that the people chose Saul as King of Israel?
  15. What are the three holy words of the Bible that William Branham spoke of?
  16. Why did William Branham say that 2 major prophets were never on the scene at the same time when the Bible doesn't teach that?
  17. William Branham said that God left Jesus when He was on the cross. Does the Bible teach this?
  18. Does God really have THREE Bibles as William Branham taught?
  19. If you don't feel saved, are you still a Christian?
  20. How hard do lilies work?
  21. Did John weep for joy or because no one was worthy?
  22. Were women really designed by Satan?
  23. Can you lose your healing?
  24. Was Enoch the seventh from Adam? Is this proof of the Serpent Seed doctrine?
  25. Is the harlot in the Book of Revelation the Roman Catholic Church?
  26. Are Christians considered amateur gods?
  27. Is Jesus Christ the same as Michael the Archangel?
  28. Does the Bible say that we have to "read between the lines"?
  29. Noah started building the ark after he saw Enoch go in a Rapture
  30. Was Enoch a type of the wise virgin, and Noah a type of the foolish virgin?
  31. Was William Branham the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5?
  32. Is the spelling of William Branham's name of spiritual significance?
  33. Illegitimate children cannot be part of the rapture.
  34. Should Christians "cast down reasoning"?
  35. Can the Holy Spirit abandon you?
  36. How nice do you have to be to people that disagree with you doctrinally?
  37. Is salvation something that you earn?
  38. Does long hair mean uncut (i.e. no trimming of split ends) for women?
  39. Does God hear the prayer of a woman that has cut her hair?
  40. Can a man get a divorce for any reason?
  41. Were the midwives in Egypt actually witches?
  42. Is your admission to heaven conditional on William Branham's judgment?
  43. Are There Women Angels?
  44. Did Jesus die screaming for help, crying for mercy because He was separated from God?
  45. William Branham mixed law and grace. Is that a problem?
  46. Was William Branham's understanding of water baptism historically correct?
  47. When Jesus died on the cross, did God leave him? Did he simply die as a man?
  48. Did William Branham simply copy Emmanual Swedenborg's teaching on the Godhead?
  49. Does the Bible really teach that the serpent had sex with Eve?
  50. Can any two walk together unless they be agreed? Did William Branham understand Amos 3:3?
  51. Was William Branham's understanding of Amos 3:7 correct?
  52. 1 John 1:7‎‎
  53. What did William Branham teach happened when someone "fell from grace"?
  54. Were the Israelites that died in the wilderness eternally lost?
  55. Was William Branham guilty of Theological Trespassing?
  56. Did William Branham's teaching on the Token agree with Paul's teaching on the subject?
  57. When is a person sealed by the Holy Spirit?
  58. Is a gentile Elijah prophesied in the Bible?
  59. Does the message teach the correct interpretation of Matthew 24:28?
  60. Is Billy Paul an old man? And if he is, why aren't sharks swimming through Los Angeles?
  61. The evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is believing in William Branham
  62. Did William Branham reveal the Son of Man?
  63. Does the Holy Spirit lead people into the message?
  64. If the seventh seal was silent, how did William Branham know what it meant?
  65. Isaiah 9:6
  66. Zechariah 14:7
  67. Are biracial marriages unscriptural?
  68. What was God's reaction to Sarah laughing?
  69. Does the Bible teach there are two tiers of Christians?
  70. Is the "Bride" a special category of Christian?
  71. If the Son is not eternal, can the Father be eternal?
  72. Is there a difference in the meaning of Eternal vs. Everlasting
  73. If sex was not in God's original plan, how come he made us as sexual beings?
  74. Are people born with spiritual gifts as William Branham taught?
  75. What is the meaning of "begotten"?
  76. Does the Christian church actually teach that there are three gods in the Trinity?
  77. Did William Branham misrepresent the Church's historical view of the Trinity?
  78. Is tithing required in the New Testament?
  79. Is Capernaum under the sea?
  80. Is the message dress code in the Bible?
  81. How many rules do I have to keep in order to get to heaven?
  82. Has "that which is perfect" come?
  83. What is the actual meaning of El Shaddai?
  84. What was The Sign of the Messiah?
  85. Was William Branham's view of the future biblical?
  86. How did William Branham view himself?
  87. Does God only have seven compound names?
  88. Who are the two witnesses of Revelation 11?
  89. Why do we need William Branham's message when scripture is sufficient?
  90. Is the message "stale" manna?
  91. William Branham and Alcohol
  92. Can you tell if someone has the Holy Spirit?
  93. Why did William Branham say that Saul did not commit suicide, when the Bible says he did?
  94. How could open-toed shoes be immoral if virtually everyone in the Bible wore them?
  95. Q&A with a message minister relating to William Branham's doctrine

Other strange, bizarre, or false beliefs of William Branham

William Branham believed, and taught, some outrageous things that people should accept as the truth. Here are a few of these bizarre teachings:

  1. Why was there a Pentagram clearly displayed on the front of the Branham Tabernacle?
  2. Are Christians that believe the doctrine of the Trinity lost?
  3. Are UFO's actually investigating angels?
  4. Did God moved the rock that Moses stood on to the Arizona desert in 1964?
  5. Does the sun revolve around the earth
  6. Who built the Pyramids?
  7. The Pyramids couldn't be built today.
  8. The Great Pyramid never had a capstone.
  9. The Pyramids don't cast a shadow.
  10. Did you know that the earth is square?
  11. Do women have one less rib than men?
  12. What other strange things did William Branham believe?

William Branham's often contradictory teachings

William Branham often contradicted himself, both in his biographical stories but also in his preaching. Here are a few examples:

  1. I am God's prophet... I never said I was a prophet.
  2. Millions will be saved... or maybe only 50.
  3. Don't leave your church... No! Leave your church now!
  4. You can't tell if someone has the Holy Spirit... Yes you can! Only people that believe me have the Holy Spirit!
  5. Did William Branham blow his horn... or not?
  6. Other confused teachings of William Branham

Other Issues Relating to William Branham's Message

  1. Kenneth Hagin's Prophecy
  2. The Vision of the Message Kitten
  3. Why didn't people correct William Branham?
  4. Our review of Owen Jorgensen's biography - Supernatural: The Life of William Branham‎
  5. Our response to Owen Jorgensen's defense of William Branham
  6. An Open Letter to Owen Jorgensen by Luca Freeman
  7. Who is Voice of God Recordings and how much money do they have?
  8. Why is there so much "bad fruit" in the message?
  9. Billy Paul Branham
  10. Joseph Branham

False Doctrine and Misinformation Taught by Message Churches

These doctrines may not have been taught directly by William Branham (or at least we have not found quotes yet) but are widely held by Message ministers/believers and are taught in a variety of message churches (please note that they may not be found in all message churches).

  1. ALL message churches place the words of William Branham above or at least equal to the Bible.
  2. Excuses for the failure of the Municipal Bridge vision - The sixteen men drowned in concrete
  3. The use of red herring arguments when Failed Prophecies are pointed out (see video)
  4. The message is Jesus Christ.
  5. Access to the blood can only be achieve through the message of the hour
  6. The doctrine of progressive revelation
  7. The heretical teachings of Lee Vayle
  8. True stories from message churches
  9. Luke 20:4-8
  10. Acts 3:21
  11. Anti-Intellectualism
  12. Spiritual Idolatry
  13. "Blind Faith"
  14. Logic and the Message
  15. Thinking is discouraged
  16. The KJV is the only inspired translation of the Bible.
  17. The Rules of the Message
  18. Are Blood Moons of importance today?
  19. If you don't believe the message, you are not going in the rapture.
  20. Only ministers can handle the Word.
  21. Your Pastor will take you through.
  22. The Message is our Absolute. In other words - William Branham said it, I believe it, that settles it.
  23. The Pastor is our Absolute or Your Pastor in his Office is always right.
  24. Diminishing the Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ of two thousand years ago, as a result of Promoting the Jesus Christ of Today.
  25. The focus on the message, removes the focus from the Bible.
  26. Rapturing Faith in on the Tapes.
  27. Don't question. Don't argue. Don't Debate. Don't Discuss. Just give them a message book.
  28. If they're Seed...
  29. The church is the wife, the husband is the pastor
  30. "programs" are of the devil, so message churches do nothing to help the poor.
  31. Missions are for people overseas, not the homeless down the street.
  32. It's OK to preach against other churches who don't have the mighty revelation.
  33. Deacons are glorified ushers and no longer redistribute wealth to the poor.
  34. There's no higher order to reveal the Word than a prophet. The following is a quote of Luke Gibson - that is an elementary teaching in this message and a close look at the scriptures will declare God always reveals His Word by prophets (Amos 3:7).
  35. Education is of the devil... but I know more than other Christians.
  36. Everyone outside the message is foolish virgin
  37. Legalistic teachings related to The Celebration of Christmas
  38. People have made Jesus into a super man. Message believers are the sons of God and ultimately, don't need Jesus to be the sacrifice.

Other issues related to message churches

  1. Urban legends of the message
  2. What is the spiritual status of message believers?
  3. Q&A with a message minister
  4. An open letter to Jason Watkins

But Message believers reject these teachings

There are a few things that William Branham taught that followers of William Branham simply do not believe in any practical sense.

  1. Is the message a cult?
  2. The Importance of a Right Spirit
  3. Draw a bigger circle
  4. The vision of the Plum and Apple Trees

Now what? Where do I go from here?

If you have honestly looked at these questions and the research provided in our analysis of each issue, you must question whether William Branham was a true prophet of God.

To help those who are now confronted with these issues and wonder what the next course of action should be we would recommend the following links:

  1. Listen to the Off The Shelf podcast!
  2. Were should I go to church? Aren't denominations of the devil?
  3. So what should I believe now?
  4. How do I help people who are still in the message? Do I tell them the message is wrong or is there a better way? How do I interact with my spouse/family member/friend who is still in the message?
  5. What did Jesus say about asking questions?
  6. Should we abandon Christianity? Does it still make sense to follow Jesus after leaving the message?
    1. Is belief in God rational?
    2. Is the New Testament historically reliable?
  7. Testimonies of Former Followers
  8. You are not alone!!!
  9. Further research on William Branham - Research Sources for William Branham and His Message
  10. A video commentary on Christian cults
  11. Can we judge William Branham?
  12. If you are looking for non-message sources to help you grow spiritually - Resources that have helped us
  13. If you need help
  14. What we believe
  15. If you want to ask us a question, you can email us.

We sincerely pray that this information has helped you on your spiritual journey. May the Holy Spirit lead you into the truth of Jesus Christ!

Shalom!


Footnotes

  1. Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2005), Dt 18:20–22.
  2. Titus 1:6 (NET)
  3. Titus 1:7 (NET)
  4. 1 Timothy 3:2 (NET)
  5. 1 Timothy 3:10 (NET)


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