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The following are a series of questions and answers between one of our editors (referred to as BTS) and an anonymous Branham minister (referred to as ABM). This series of Q&A relates to William Branham's prophetic ministry. The full text of this question and its answer is below.
Click on the links to go to a specific question or a different subject area. You are currently on the topic below that is in bold:
Question 4 - The Roosevelt prophecy
Another issue regarding William Branham's prophetic ministry relates to the Roosevelt prophecy.
On Nov. 13, 1960, William Branham stated:
- (31) I’d like to read you a prophecy that was given.
- (34) “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."
- (41) 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, that caused the world war. (60-1113 - Condemnation By Representation) (emphasis added)
In the Church Age Book in the section on the Laodicean church, 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.
Here are the problems we have with this prophecy:
- 1. 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? There is no record of this prophecy prior to 1958.
- 2. The USA did not lead the world into WWII, as William Branham stated 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 (or perhaps Lee Vayle) realized that this was in 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 the Roosevelt prophecy in the Church Age Book.
- 3. 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 (that was "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 (again "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 prophecy over time includes:
- 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.
- A summary of the prophecy over time includes:
William Branham stated in 1960 that he was "reading" the prophecy. Therefore, we must take it that the prophecy included President Roosevelt being the cause of World War 2. But, from a plain reading of history, we know this was not the case.
How is the original Roosevelt prophecy not a false prophecy?
Thank you for your continued dialogue.
I believe this issue here is merely one of semantics and interpretation of history.
Could the whole world be at war until the United States, the world's greatest power, joined the war? As long as world's most powerful military remained out of the war, could it be a true World War? No. As long as Roosevelt kept the United States out of the war, the whole world was not at war. Thus, it is impossible for the entire world to go war until the United States committed itself to the war. So taking a most literal reading of what was said by Bro. Branham, it did indeed take Roosevelt's actions to bring the United States fully into the war, and thus bring the "whole world" to war. Because before Roosevelt's actions, the whole world was not at war.
Did Roosevelt's actions bring the United States into the war? I understand your counterargument to be that it was Germany and Japan who declared war on the United States, and as such they were the provocateurs who caused the war. This is true, but we cannot ignore cause and effect. Could it have been Roosevelt's actions that caused those nations to declare war? If so, then the prophecy holds true.
Roosevelt had been attempting to bring the United States into the war for years. However Congress refused to allow it. Roosevelt's economic sanctions against Japan were a key contributor to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Most historians, including one cited below states "he was doing everything possible to join the struggle against Hitler," even while publicly claiming he wanted to remain neutral. Roosevelt was actively attempting to enter the war by alternate means since Congress refused to authorize the war. Another historian linked below states "He not only took America into the war, he carried the country with him." The Secretary of Navy at the time stated
- "Prior to December 7, it was evident even to me... that we were pushing Japan into a corner. I believed that it was the desire of President Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Churchill that we get into the war, as they felt the Allies could not win without us and all our efforts to cause the Germans to declare war on us failed; the conditions we imposed upon Japan—to get out of China, for example—were so severe that we knew that nation could not accept them. We were forcing her so severely that we could have known that she would react toward the United States [with war]. All her preparations in a military way — and we knew their over-all import — pointed that way" (Vice Admiral Frank E. Beatty, "Another Version of What Started the War with Japan," U. S. News and World Report, May 28, 1954, p. 48)
So if we dig just a little deeper into the history of times, we find Roosevelt did indeed goad Germany and Japan into declaring war on the United States. Thus we can safely say, yes, he did take an active role in causing the United States to enter the war.
Did the United State pick on Germany first? After conquering France, Germany attempted to make peace with Great Britain, and was hoping to form an alliance with it. Germany had no desire to continue the war with Britain or start a war with the United States at that time. Japan likewise at that time was not threatening the United States or Britain in any way. Following Britain's refusal to negotiate peace in late 1940 and early 1941, Japan began invading British territory in the Pacific. What was the United States doing in this time? Neither Germany nor Japan were attacking the US or US shipping or taking any hostile actions against the United States. However, Roosevelt began sanctions against Germany and Japan in 1939, and consistently increased those sanctions until ultimately joining the war. Germany on the other hand did not begin attaching US shipping until January 1942.
Germany was willing to negotiate peace in 1940 and end the war. This was before the United States or Russia were in the war. In 1940 Germany and Italy were at war with Britian, and Japan was at war with China. Hostilities everywhere else had ceased. It was not yet a true world war. Things could have ended then. However, the United States began the lease-lend program to back British war efforts and keep the war going.
So, as we look at cause and effect we see, it is true that the United States began sanctioning Germany and Japan (picking on them) years before those nations began attacking the United States. And in 1940, when the war could have ended (thank God it did not), the United States through economic actions kept the war going and ultimately caused it to escalate into a truly global conflict.
Your question is "How is the original Roosevelt prophecy not a false prophecy?" I assume the text provided in your background information is what you accept to be the original form of the prophecy. (I personally disagree, but will address your text)
- “The President which now is, President Franklin D. Roosevelt,” [ABM: Roosevelt was president in 1932, this is accurate] now remember, this is twenty-eight years ago, “will cause the whole world to go to war. [ABM: Without his actions via sanctions, Japan would not have declared war on the US, and the US would not have entered the war. Without the US in the war, the whole world would not have been at war. This is accurate]"
- "In President Franklin D. Roosevelt, took America to England’s tea party. That’s right. Germany never picked on us; we picked on them. [ABM: The United States initiated hostility towards Germany through economic sanctions, before Germany took any direct hostile actions against the United States. This is accurate.] Throwed the whole world into a war, that caused the world war.
So in summary, there is a way to interpret history in such a way as to deem this prophecy accurate. This interpretation of history is not my own, but a generally accepted interpretation of Roosevelt's actions in that time.
I look forward to your next issue.