He has about 2 million followers, mostly in the third world. He was born in 1906 and died in a car accident in 1965.
QUESTION: Was Branham a false teacher, a cult leader?
ANSWER: YES. And here is why:
First of all, we don’t judge people when we point them as false teachers, but we discern their false teachings and we point them out to the flock of Jesus, just as Paul did in 2Tim2:17 about 2 false teachers, Hymanaeus and Philetus. We only touch here on beliefs Branham made public.
*1. BRANHAM DENIED THAT JESUS IS GOD:*
Branham said: ”He was Jesus when He was born. But when the Holy Spirit came upon Him after His baptism, He was anointed with God. God was in Him, ’cause He came to fulfill the Word.” –The Messiah, Jan 17,1961 (tape #61-0117)
“And this little Boy, twelve-year-old Child, no wisdom at all, why, but just a twelve-year-old Boy… The Father didn’t dwell in Him at that time, because He came on the day when He baptized Him; he saw the Spirit of God coming down, and went in Him.” –Paradox, February 6, 1964 (tape #64-0206B
“The Spirit left Jesus in Gethsemane and He became just a man– When God looked down upon the body… The Spirit left Him in the Garden of Gethsemane; He had to die a man.” –It Is the Rising of the Sun, April 18, 1965 (tape #65-0418M)
Branham’s teaching is a variation of a second century heresy taught by Sabellius know as Modalistic Monarchianism.
*2. BRANHAM BELIEVED BAPTISM SHOULD BE DONE IN JESUS’ NAME ONLY:*
Branham claimed that proper baptism was needed to avoid the “Mark of the Beast” of denominational churches and escape the danger of missing the rapture and entering the Tribulation. He wrote: ”Proper baptism must be in the name of Jesus only. Baptism with the Trinitarian formula of Matt28:18 (“in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”) is unacceptable to God”.
If an incorrect formula was spoken during baptism, Branham felt the convert would go into darkness. “But a tritheist, triune baptism was never recognized in the Church, the New Testament… Now you know what to do, that’s right; and if you refuse to walk in Light when Light’s brought forth, you turn to darkness. Right! Amen!” –Conduct, Order, Doctrine Q and A, p.178,181,182,184,190).
*3. BRANHAM MADE FALSE PROPHECIES:*
”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 millenium.” (Seven Church Ages p.322)
*4. BRANHAM PREACHED THAT HE WAS CARRIED BY THE SPIRIT THROUGHOUT HISTORY:*
”I preached with Moses and war-with Noah and warned the people of the oncoming judgment, to be a real Christian. I was with Moses at the burning bush; I saw the Pillar of Fire; I saw His glory. I was with Moses up there in the wilderness. To be a Christian, I have to be identified with everything God was, to be a Christian. I seen His glory; I heard His voice. Don’t try to explain it away from me now, ’cause I was there. I know what I’m talking about. I have seen what happened…
I was at the Red Sea …I stood by Mount Sinai …I ate manna with them out there. I drank from that Rock; I’m still doing it tonight…I was with John the Baptist …I was with the 120 in the Upper Room …I was identified there. I’m one of them. I was identified; I got the same experience they had. I was there when it happened, to be a true Christian.” (THE MIGHTY GOD UNVEILED BEFORE US p.27).
*5. BRANHAM PREACHED THAT EVE HAD SEX WITH THE SERPENT AND PRODUCED OFFSPRING, CAIN:*
Branham taught that Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden (Gen3) was sexual sin. According to Branham, Eve was seduced into a sexual relationship with the serpent and became impregnated with her son Cain, which contradicts Gen4:1 which says Adam had sex with Eve, not Satan. Branham wrote:
“Here is what actually happened in the Garden of Eden. The Word says that Eve was beguiled by the serpent. She was actually seduced by the serpent. He was as close to being a human that his seed could, and did mingle with that of the woman and cause her to conceive.” (The Original Sin, p.2,3).
”Since THREE sons were born from TWO acts of Adam, You know POSITIVELY that ONE of those three WAS NOT the son of Adam. The truth of the matter is that eve had two sons in her womb TWO sons (twins) from separate impregnations. She was carrying twins, with Cain’s conception sometime previous to that of Abel’s.” (W. M. Branham, An Exposition of The Seven Church Ages, p.98,100-101, also ‘The Toronto Blessing’, Stephen Sizer, 1990).
‘The serpent’s seed was Cain and all his descendants. They are predestined for Hell. The Godly seed is Seth and his descendants who have been revealed by their call to Branham’s ministry. A third group, represented by those still in denominational churches have freewill to choose Heaven or Hell. The Godly seed are the Bride of Christ and will be raptured before Tribulation. Denominations are or eventually will be the Mark of the Beast and those who remain therein will go through the Tribulation.’ (Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, p. 96, also ”William Branham, The Original Sin”, p.2,3)
“Eve’s eating was adultery with the serpent. Remember, he was not a snake at this point. That curse came after the act. … It was not an apple that caused Adam and Eve to realize they were naked. But it was a sex act. … The serpent was an upright handsome creature. He was, in fact, `the missing link’ that science even in their unspiritual wisdom, can see is missing `between man and monkey.’ … Satan used this creature to get himself into the Human race.” (Was it an Apple? Lima, Oh: Bible Believers of Lima).
”The serpent is that missing person between the chimpanzee and the man, ’cause, listen, notice this now, that the serpent was not a reptile. 23-4 What did he do? He begin making love to Eve. And he lived with her as a husband. And she saw it was pleasant, so she went and told her husband; but she was already pregnant by Satan. And she brought forth her first son whose name was Cain, the son of Satan.” Now, this serpent, when he stood there… This great big giant of a fellow stood up there. He was guilty of committing adultery with Adam’s wife. Where’s sin lay today?…” (William Branham The Serpent’s Seed delivered Sunday evening, September 28th 1958 at the Branham Tabernacle in Jeffersonville, Indiana, U.S.A.)
*6. BRANHAM DID NOT BELIEVE THAT HELL IS ETERNAL*
”Satan – – awaits his time of eternal annihilation – We believe that he will absolutely be done completely away and annihilated.” (W. M. Branham, The Revelation of the Seven Seals, pp. 28, 48; W. M. Branham, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p.134-135).
*7. BRANHAM BELIEVED HE WAS ELIJAH THE PROPHET:*
”He was Elijah the prophet, the seventh angelic messenger to the Laodicean Church Age (Footprints on the Sands of Time, p.620)”
*8. BRANHAM BELIEVED MILLIONS WILL ENTER HEAVEN EVEN WITHOUT BEING BORN AGAIN*
“Multitudes who were not born again will go into eternal life.” (SCA,266,13.)
*9. BRANHAM DID FAKE HEALINGS:*
In a Winnipeg crusade, a newspaper told of many healings. Later, reporters checked and found all had become worse or died. It was a form of mass hysteria and hypnotism where people see what they want to see. With slight of hand and mind he created the mirage of healing and claimed to discern cancer through vibrations and swelled hands. He prayed for people and declared the cancers dead then said they would be sick for a few days until poisons came out of their bodies. Did Jesus ever say that to people? Branham left town well healed in his wallet but his patients died.
*10. BRANHAM SPOKE IN ‘TONGUES’, YET HE WAS UNSAVED*
Branham claimed to speak in angelic languages COD, 554:276-277,298 (ask me for the study ”Angel’s languages or national languages’). However, he was not born again, in the light of his beliefs; he did not have the Holy Spirit Rom8/9, but he faked miracles and speaking in tongues to foul others that he is a true prophet of God.
*11. BRANHAM WAS INVOLVED IN OCCULT*
Another of Branham’s teachings was that the Zodiac and the Egyptian pyramids were equal to the Scriptures in the revelation of God’s Word (Branham, Adoption, Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, p.31,104).
Websites of interest: