This tract is the product of a broken heart. A lifetime spent in the Message of William Branham, deeply loving its teachings, and trusting deeply the leaders who preached it. The writer of this article has been a message minister living his life in the Jeffersonville Indiana area. The sorrow with which these things are wrote cannot be overstated.
The First Failed Healing
I grew up at a large Message church in Jeffersonville, Indiana. A former deacon of the Branham tabernacle, appointed by Bro. Banham during the 1940s, attended our church. He frequently testified about William Branham and the goodness of God. His testimonies were always very inspiring and a blessing. One testimony he shared frequently was concerning his sons. Both had been severely injured by polio in their youth, and one became a cripple.
He shared the story many times when William Branham prayed for the boys, and told us how William Branham assured him that his boys would be healed “before the end came”. It was a dear promise to the father. As our pastor would preach about the approaching end, the old deacon would be inspired to testify to us. He would tell us how happy he would be to see his boys finally healed, just like William Branham had told him.
The years went by, and eventually the former deacon died. But his sons remained faithful and continued to attend church. Then, the years went by, and both of his sons reached their sixties. Over the years people continued to talk about their promised healing, and there was even prophecies given concerning the crippled son, assuring us that his healing would come in time.
Then the problem came. The crippled son divorced and remarried a younger woman against the wishes of the pastor. One Sunday morning, the first time he came to church after his second marriage, the pastor called out the crippled man and his wife from the platform. In front of a congregation of hundreds of people, and broadcast live to churches around the world, the cripple man and his wife were told to leave the church and never come back. According to our pastor, his sin in remarrying the younger woman was so great, the pastor never wanted to see them again.
While you may be shocked to hear that handicapped people are thrown out of Message churches in this manner, sitting there that day, my shock was of a different variety. I was sitting there trying to figure out why William Branham had assured us this crippled man was going to be healed. Clearly, something was very wrong. That was many years ago now, and the crippled man is approximately 80 years old now, and he is still not healed.
I pray that God does heal him. But clearly, something was very wrong with William Branham’s prophecy that this man was going to be healed. This was my first clue that something was wrong.
The Second Problem
Some time later, another problem arose. Another long time member of our church, a man whose family had also attended the Branham Tabernacle while William Branham was still living, had a well known testimony. It was recorded and published by the church, and I have many copies of it. In 1965, his daughter was in the hospital born with a leaky heart valve. Her father had tried every way to get word to William Branham to pray for her, but according to his testimony, the men around William Branham controlled access to him so tightly, he couldn’t get to him.
Then, a miracle happened. At a healing service, William Branham pointed out the father in the crowd, and said his child would be healed. The whole thing was caught on tape too, in the sermon Who is This Melchisedec (the evening service after Marriage and Divorce was preached).
One day an elderly man in the church approached me. I had recently preached a sermon where I referenced the girl who had her heart healed. The man was concerned, and said there was something I needed to know. He said, “did you ever listen to that tape?” I said no. He said, “I was there that day, and Bro. Branham got that discernment wrong. And he never said the baby would be healed. You should go listen to it.”
Well of course I was shocked. We have been told that testimony about the girl being healed dozens of times. I knew the whole family well. It never crossed my mind this story was anything but the whole truth. So I went and listened to the tape. Sure enough… What was on tape did not match the story we had always been told. William Branham did not actually say his daughter would be healed. That part of the story was made up. But William Branham did discern an illness. But William Branham got part of the discernment wrong. With the baby girl laying in the hospital, William Branham discerned “his” heart had a hole in it. He got the gender wrong.
I was disappointed to find the story we had been told so many times was not completely true. But that seemed pretty minor to me, so I dismissed it. But in these two instances, I had my first taste of William Branham getting a healing and a discernment wrong. Little did I know this was just the tip of the iceberg.
Things Message Preachers Never Told Us
As time went on, and I began looking into William Branham’s ministry more and more, and interviewing the many living witnesses I had access to, I discovered some very disturbing things.
Everyone – let me repeat, EVERYONE – in our Jeffersonville church who was around in William Branham’s days was aware of multiple failed pronouncements of healing, and multiple incorrect discernments. Our pastor, for example, was aware of multiple women who William Branham had pronounced healed at meetings near Campbellsville Kentucky, but none of them were healed. His explanation was the same as William Branham’s: they lost their healing because they had a lack of faith, or they failed to meet a condition William Branham gave them. Of course, he did not know what those conditions were, he just assumed there must have been conditions.
For some time I accepted that answer. That seemed reasonable. There are certainly biblical cases of people being given conditions to meet before receiving their healing. So it is reasonable to believe God could still place conditions on healing.
While the pastor had a good explanation, other people I talked to related concerns and confusion about different ones they knew who had not been healed. I was told of case after case that really sounded bad. I decided to look into a few of the cases they told me about to see what I could find.
One case I looked into was the healing of a child I was very familiar with. It was a little girl with leukemia. William Branham prayed for her and she was healed on the tape called “The Deep Calleth To The Deep”. I remember watching the tape as a young person, and also having it played for us at church. The entire congregation rejoiced when the little girl was healed. William Branham did not give the little girl any conditions at all to be healed. In fact, William Branham publicly said the little girl had “tremendous faith”. I didn’t need to rely on second hand accounts of what William Branham said for this case, because it was all on tape.
People told me it was a big deal when it happened. Her parents canceled the little girl’s cancer treatments because they believed their daughter was healed through William Branham’s prayers. But, less than two weeks later the little girl was dead. The newspapers made a big deal out of it and interviewed the mother. They accused William Branham of lying.
Carol Ruth Strubler is a prime example of William Branham’s gift of healing not working. She was nine years old, from Chambersburg Pennsylvania. William Branham Historical Research even created a video on the young girl.
This was a very sad story. It left me wondering, how could a girl with tremendous faith lose her healing? There were no conditions given by William Branham, and he even invoked his gift, and said it was being ministered by the angel when he prayed for her. Why didn’t it work?
Many times, the story was told to us that the angel told William Branham, “nothing will stand in your way, not even cancer, if you can get the people to believe.” The little girl believed, so did the family. They believed so much they canceled her treatments and gave newspaper interviews proclaiming their daughter was healed. So why was the cancer able to stand in the way of his gift? What is the explanation? Either William Branham did not have the gift of healing he claimed to, or the angel must have lied to him. Something was wrong.
I started to dig deeper at that point, I began to uncover dozens of stories of people who William Branham said was healed, but they never got better. In fact, many of them died just after he said they were healed – just like Carol Ruth Strubler. Doing a quick count at the time of writing this article, there are 162 reported cases where William Branham said someone was healed and they never got better or they died.
You can perform the same research I have. Listen to William Branham’s prayer lines on tape. In William Branham’s healing lines, he often told where the person lived, what their name was, and the condition they had. That is enough information to locate most people in online public databases of obituaries, death records, and newspaper archives. You can do this research for yourself. Look them up. Find the serious cases of people who were dying. See if you can find any of the cancer patients he healed, and see how long they lived after he prayed for them. Of the several dozen I have searched, every last one of them was dead shortly after he said they were healed.
What Raymond Jackson Said
In a 2002 sermon, Raymond Jackson told us about a breakdown William Branham had at the time of Carol Ruth Strubbler’s death in July 1954. One day, while visiting William Branham at his house, William Branham confessed that the gifts in his life were not working.
He said, “Brother Junie, I am never going to ask God to anoint me anymore to use that gift.”
Now this was the first time I ever heard the man talk like this. It made me feel, what in the world went wrong? I said, “Why Brother Branham?”
He said, “It just didn’t work right, it just wasn’t right.”
Well, to me, I didn’t see a thing wrong. But I could see the expression on his face, he was so depressed about it. He plainly said, “never again”. Now that was about the middle part of 1954.
I thought, that will be terrible. He didn’t want to be anointed no more. I left there feeling kind of disappointed, to hear this great man talk like that.
But it wasn’t three weeks later and he was right back to doing the same thing.
I don’t say these things to put down the man, but there were things that came in his life and left him discouraged and depressed. We don’t need to ask what it is. It’s none of our business.Raymond Jackson, William Branham, Part 2 – September 8, 2002
People William Branham was pronouncing healed were dying. It is understandable that William Branham felt bad about it. Unfortunately, Raymond Jackson somehow did not see that as a problem. But William Branham was fully aware something was wrong. He was admitting to his mistake in private.
Although Raymond Jackson told us it was none of our business to know these things, he was badly mistaken. It is absolutely our business to know about these things, and it goes to the very heart of who we believed William Branham to be.
Raymond Jackson knew about these things, and he covered them up and hid the truth from us. Had he actually been willing to believe William Branham’s own words, he would have realized there was something seriously wrong with his gift. It did not work the way the angel told him it was supposed to. What kind of angel would have told William Branham a lie?
Healings were failing from the very beginning
Newspaper reporters covered William Branham’s big revival meetings from the very early days. His first big meetings were in 1946.
At his June 1947 revivals in Vandalia, Illinois, the local news reported that Beck Walker, a man who was deaf and mute from birth, was pronounced healed but failed to recover. Branham claimed Walker failed to recover his hearing because he had disobeyed Branham’s instruction to stop smoking cigarettes. Branham was lambasted by critics who asked how it was possible the deaf man could have heard his command to stop smoking. It is a good question isn’t it? Did God refuse to heal the deaf man because he could not hear? That makes no sense.
Later in 1947, Branham claimed to have raised a young man from the dead at a Jeffersonville funeral parlor. Branham’s sensational claim was reported in the news in the United States and Canada, leading to a news investigation to identify the funeral home and the individual raised from the dead. They contact every funeral parlor in Jeffersonville, but every single one said they never heard of such a thing. William Branham made up the story. The whole investigation was published in the newspapers.
After William Branham held meeting in Winnipeg in 1947, alot of people he pronounced healed died. The newspaper ran stories about it. In response, the churches which hosted Branham’s campaign conducted independent follow-up interviews with people Branham pronounced healed to gather testimonies which they could use to counter the negative press. Not a single person a they interviewed ended up being healed. Every single person William Branham had pronounced healed in their churches was none the better. How can we explain that?
At meetings in Vancouver during 1947, newspaper reporters discovered that one young girl had been in Branham’s prayer lines in multiple cities posing as a cripple, but rising to walk after Branham pronounced her healed each time. An investigative reporter suspected Branham had staged the miracle. Reporters at the meeting also attempted to follow up on the case of a Calgary woman pronounced healed by Branham who had died shortly after he left the city. Reporters attempted to confront Branham over these issues, but Branham refused to be interviewed. I can understand why.
These are a few newspaper articles you can find that cover just William Branham’s first year of campaigning. But this trend continues throughout his ministry. There was a long and steady stream of newspapers reporting failed healings, evidence of staged miracles, and William Branham refusing to be interviewed.
What Other Preachers Said
It was not just newspaper reporters who noticed the deaths and evidence that something was very wrong. Other preachers did too, including those who were very close to William Branham.
In 1947, Rev. Alfred Pohl, the national Missionary-Secretary of Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, served as Branham’s guide and host at meetings across western Canada. Pohl stated that many people Branham pronounced healed later died and he produced witnesses to validate his allegations. Pohl said that all the deaths “severely tested the faith” of many ministers who had trusted in Branham. Pohl also claimed Branham was frequently given and accepted large financial gifts from individuals who he pronounced as healed, including those who subsequently died. Pohl explained that he personally delivered the large donations to Branham. Pohl wrote a book that gave the details of dozens of cases where William Branham pronounced people healed, and then they died shortly after. Why did no one ever tell us about these things when we were in the Message? I assure you, the leaders know about it.
In 1948, W. J. Taylor, a district superintendent with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, raised concerns again following another wave of Branham meetings and asked for a thorough investigation. Taylor presented evidence that claims of the number of people healed were vastly overestimated, and that multiple people pronounced healed by Branham had subsequently died. While he stated his personal admiration for Branham, the troubling number of deaths led him to suggest “there is a possibility that this whole thing is wrong”.
Churches in Canada continued to experience crises following Branham campaign meetings as they attempted to explain the numerous failed healings to their congregations. At meetings in Regina, Branham pronounced the wife of a prominent minister healed of cancer. The minister and his wife were overjoyed, and the minister excitedly shared the details of the healing with his radio audience in Ontario later that week. To his surprise, his wife died only days later of her illness. The confusion created by the situation led ministers to claim Branham had deceived them. Clearly they had faith and believed. They even announced the healing to the whole world. Why didn’t she get better?
The question is not what was wrong with their faith. The question is: what was wrong with William Branham’s gift of healing?
Similar allegations came from Branham’s European campaigns. Rev. Walter Hollenweger, who served as a translator on Branham’s European tours, reported that “very few were actually healed” in the campaigns, and the overwhelming majority pronounced healed by Branham failed to recover. Hollenweger said that Branham was “naïve” and “dishonest” and misled his audiences when he reported the number of people healed. Hollenweger was disappointed that Branham refused to acknowledge the numerous failed pronouncements of healings. He published his accounts in multiple books he wrote.
Serious allegations also were made following Branham’s meetings in South Africa during 1952 and complaints were lodged with government authorities. Michael Plaff, a doctor, was pronounced healed of cancer by Branham during one meeting. In February 1952, the Branham campaign published an article claiming Plaff had visited the hospital the day after he was prayed for and his cure was confirmed by medical tests. However, Plaff was already dead from his cancer when William Branham’s team published the article.
A minister attending meetings in Durban with his congregation reported that over twenty people suffering from tuberculosis were pronounced healed by Branham, but all failed to recovered. In another case, a woman suffering a heart condition was pronounced healed by Branham, but died less than a week later. A 23-year-old leukemia patient was pronounced healed by Branham, but failed to recover and died about thirteen months later.
The Branham campaign published a book entitled “A Prophet Visit South Africa” to publicize the success of the tour. The book related the details of dozens of healings, including names and cities of the people involved. Investigators in South Africa followed up on the reported healings. Every single case they investigated, 46 in total, they discovered that the individual Branham said had been healed had failed to recover. It was a 100% rate of failure. After reviewing the results of the investigation, one minister concluded “that the cures claimed are so largely exaggerated as to be almost fraudulent in their claim.” When Branham attempted to visit South Africa again in 1965, the South African government placed restrictions on his visa preventing him from holding any healing revivals while he was in the country. The results of the investigation were published in a book by Wymon Miller on Divine Healing.
Ern Baxter, who participated in most of Branham’s campaigns between November 1947 and 1953 including his tours to India and Europe, reflected on the exaggerated reports of miracles in the healing revival in a 1978 interview. He explained that the allegations eroded the trust of the crowds who attended the healing services.
I remember in the beginning of the healing movement, simply to report a healing would produce great jubilation and praise from congregations. However, the cynicism became so deep that the people’s confidence was diminished. Even to this day, people are affected. People began to circulate healing testimonies which, when they were checked out by reputable journalists and reporters, even those who were friendly to the movement, were found to be false. The percentage of healings that stood up after investigation was embarrassingly low.Ern Baxter
Can God Lie?
William Branham often said “Thus Saith The Lord” when pronouncing people healed. Here is one example.
And about five, my son called me, and he said, “Do you know a girl named Jean Dyer?” I said, “Jean Dyer, sounds familiar.” He said, “She said she used to play the piano for you.” “Oh,” I said, “that isn’t Dr. Dyer, the surgeon here, a famous surgeon in Louisville?” Said, “That’s—that’s it. Well, his daughter Jean is dying over at the Saint Edwards Hospital in…or Saint Anthony Hospital, rather, in Louisville.” And said, “Her husband has laid right on the steps all day.” “Well,” I said, “well, I’ll try to wedge it in today.” Said, “Now, she doesn’t know she’s got cancer. Don’t tell her.”
Before taking the girl up, well, they let me come over and pray with her. I got her in a room. And soon as I got…There was an unbelieving nurse on duty; had three nurses, three hour shifts. And soon as we could get rid of the nurse, and get her out of the room, so a vision could happen, and we prayed with her a little while there, and I seen her. She is dark hair. She’s only about thirty-six years old. Dark hair had turned gray. She was standing in the vision. I said, “Jean, now look. I’m going to be real honest with you.” I said, “You’ve been in the meetings long enough to know that I would not tell you nothing in the Name of the Lord unless it was so.” I said, “Now, Jean, you got cancer.” She said, “I suspicioned it, Brother Branham.” And I said, “That operation, day after tomorrow, is a colostomy. But, don’t worry. I’ve seen, from the Lord, you’re going to be well.” And she just rejoiced. So I went home.63-0121 – Zacchaeus, The Businessman
Rev. William Marrion Branham
I want to tell you, because you’ve been in the meetings. A vision has never failed. Now I’m going to tell you, Jean, it’s THUS SAITH THE LORD! See?” See? Now, you want to be real sure of that, see, that the…that it is the Lord. Not impression; you see it. See? And then I said, “You’re going to live.63-0116 – The Evening Messenger
Rev. William Marrion Branham
William Branham’s story sounds so convincing. He never misses a beat. He even shared all the supernatural details. William Branham had a vision that she would be better. He prophesied, “Thus saith the Lord” to Jean Dyer that she would be healed and live from her cancer.
Jean Dyer is from New Albany, Indiana and known to people in this area. Jean never got better. She died of her cancer just a short time after William Branham said she was healed.
Was the promise of her healing “Thus saith the Lord” or “Thus saith William Branham”? My God is a not a liar. My God is not a failure. My God never gets it wrong. There are so many examples like this we could share, its very hard to continue to believe in William Branham’s “gift of healing” when we see how flawed it was.
While I can find dozens of well documented failures of healing, like this one, I honestly have not ever seen a truly documented case of healing from William Branham’s ministry. Not one. By that I mean, someone diagnosed by a doctor, William Branham saying they are healed, and confirmation from a doctor that they are healed. Every case of healing in his ministry I have ever heard about is missing the evidence for one of those three elements. Even the ones people told me was on tape, it is not really on tape. They misled me.
That don’t mean the healings were fake or didn’t happen. It just means our faith that those healings actually occurred is based on our confidence in the people telling us the stories. But as we can see, our confidence may have been misplaced. I still believe some people were healed. But I have reached the point that I feel justified in asking for some proof rather than second and third hand stories that may be nothing more than legends at this point.
God is a healer. But many of the William Branham’s pronouncements of healing were a flop.
William Branham’s word alone has proven to be worthless. And it is entirely possible the people who are telling us second and third hand stories may well have been the victims of a hoax. I would be a fool to trust the word of a man who told so many things that were not true.
Flat out falsehoods
To his American audiences, William Branham claimed several high profile events occurred during his international tours. He claimed to pray for and heal the granddaughter of Florence Nightingale at a London airport. Branham’s campaign produced photos of an emaciated woman who they claimed to be Nightingale’s granddaughter. However, Florence Nightingale never married and had no children or grandchildren. Maybe he was mistaken about who she was? Whatever the case, the story the way he told the story cannot possibly be true. Investigators of Branham’s claim were unable to identify the woman in the photograph. William Branham’s claim was demonstrably false.
William Branham also claimed to visit and pray for King George VI while en route to Finland in 1950. He claimed the king was healed through his prayers. Researchers found no evidence that Branham ever met King George; King George was chronically ill and died about a year after Branham claimed to heal him. How did he die if he was healed?
Branham similarly claimed to pray for King Gustaf V while in Sweden in April 1950. Investigators found no evidence for the meeting; King Gustaf V died in October 1950. That healing was a flop too.
William Branham also claimed to stop in Egypt in 1954 while en route to India to meet with King Farouk; however Farouk had been deposed in 1952 and was not living in Egypt at the time. It was also a made up story.
What is ironic is that the angel who gave William Branham his gift told him he would pray for Kings. But to the best of our knowledge, every single King William Branham claimed to meet, pray for, and heal was a made up story. Did the angel lie to William Branham about that too? Or perhaps you can find a King he actually did pray for and heal? What kind of angel would tell a lie?
How Could He Get Away With It?
William Branham’s procedures made verification of healing difficult at the time of his revivals. Branham believed in positive confession. He required people to claim to be healed to demonstrate their faith, even if they were still experiencing symptoms. He frequently told people to expect their symptoms to remain for several days after their healing. This led to people professing to be healed at the meetings, while still suffering from the condition. Only follow up after Branham’s waiting period had passed could ascertain the final result of the healing.
Of course, William Branham rarely stayed more than three or four days in the same town. Alfred Pohl traveled from town to town with William Branham and explained how it worked.
Their expectations had been raised so high, only to be dashed after all the excitement was over. Some seemed to experience a momentary relief from pain, but all too many would discover no lasting benefit. And by that time the healer would be too far away to be questioned or to explain. The sick person would then simply be forced to accuse himself of lack of faith, or in some cases, throw his faith overboard.— Alfred Pohl
Just like the healing of Carol Ruth Strubbler, at the time of the meeting everyone rejoiced and praised God, thanking God for the healing. But just a few days after William Branham left town, the people he pronounced healed were already dead. Their families were left shocked by the death, and left to try and put the pieces together. They had been the victims of a fraud.
If these stores of failed healings had only happened once or twice, we might dismiss it. But seeing that we have documented evidence of it occurring dozens of times during William Branham’s ministry, it leave us with some very serious concerns about the authenticity of his “gift”.
Abusive Uses of the Gifts of the Spirit
In First Corinthians, the apostle Paul gives a very clear explanation of how the gifts of the spirit are supposed to be used, and gives us guidelines for judging when they being used in a manner that edifies and a manner that is an abuse of the gift.
A true gift of God edifies the body of Christ. It causes people’s faith to grow, it causes them to grow in Christ, and it has a beneficial effect. But William Branham’s gift seemed to have left a whole lot of people in despair, doubting their salvation, doubting their faith, and confused about why their healing never came. That is not an edifying use of a gift of healing. That is actually destructive and gives people cause to walk away from Christ, rather than come to Him.
Even if we can say William Branham did have a gift of healing, the manner in which he used it was an abuse of the gift, and the trail of dead bodies and devastated people are the evidence of that abuse.
And if you don’t think those people exist, you have been misled. I could share multiple stories of people, who on their deathbed, had a total collapse of faith when they discovered that the personal “thus saith the Lord” prophecies William Branham had given them proved to be false. William Branham alone bears responsibility for those things.
William Branham even claimed the angel who gave him his gifts accused him of abusing them.
And just then, this One Who had been talking, behind me, stepped around in front of me. It was Him, the Angel of the Lord. He had His hands folded. He looked at me, said, “Just what I told you not to do!” And I said, “Yes. That’s right.” He said, “You see, that First Pull was when you used to put your hands on the people and tell them what was their trouble.” Said, “The Second Pull was when you’d know the secrets of the heart, like I told you.” And said, “Instead of you keeping that to yourself, you tried to explain all about it, and tell people. And when you did,” said, “you didn’t know nothing about it, yourself. And how could you explain it? And you’ve caused a big bunch of carnal impersonations to rise up, and you see what you’ve done.” And I said, “Lord, I’m sorry.” And I—I said, “Oh, I’m so sorry! I don’t know what to do.56-0408A – What Is A Vision?
Rev. William Marrion Branham
Even William Branham admitted he was abusing the gifts he was given. He admitted his misuse of the gifts had a destructive outcome. The angel blamed him, personally, for inspiring the creations of abusive and fraudulent ministries. And that he did indeed do. Am I unjustified in blaming him for the same thing? He is certainly guilty of it. His methods are nothing any of us should seek to replicate. They are not a model to be followed, by his own admission.
Sadly, in The Message, abuse of the gifts of the spirit are widespread. William Branham’s angel was certainly right about one thing: most of it is his fault. People are just trying to be repeat what they thought he was doing.
Did you know that to get into William Branham’s prayer line, you had to submit a prayer card? I wonder why everyone left that detail out of their testimonies? It is interesting that the very things which William Branham discerned from people was the same things he asked them to write on their prayer cards – their name, address, and what they wanted prayer for.
Notice also the cards were numbered. When William Branham called his prayer lines, he would tell the numbers he was going to pray for and had them get in line. He knew exactly who was coming to be prayed for and exactly what their illness was. It is entirely plausible that the majority of what he “discerned” in the prayer lines came from these cards.
He also called people out of the audience who did not enter the prayer line. But the prayer cards could also have been used for that too.
His helpers collected the prayer cards and organized the prayer line for him. Before starting his prayer line, he would tell everyone to bow their heads and close their eyes. Many witnesses claim that they peaked when he told the crowd to do that, and they witnessed his helpers bringing him papers on the stage. Some of these examples are even on tape. For example, on the Deep Calleth the Deep tape when Carol Ruth Strubler was prayed for, just before beginning the prayer line Billy Paul Branham take something to his father and spends over a minute whispering things in his ear. Was he sharing the prayer card information just before the prayer line began?
There is nothing special about William Branham’s gift of discernment, in the sense that everything we see him say or do with it could be faked. That does not mean it is fake. But we have to ask a question: if he could discern their illnesses, names, and addresses, then what good reason could he have for collecting that information from them in writing?
If we compare what we know about all the failed healings, the hoax supernatural signs, and the false and exaggerated stories he told – it wise for us to acknowledge there are also some red flags that indicate his discernments may not be authentic.
With a high degree of confidence, we say there were people who were prayed for and got better in William Branham’s meetings. Divine healing and the gift of healing is biblical. However, there is something clearly suspicious about William Branham’s gift. We can find multiple things the angel supposedly told him about his gift were false. Cancer did stand in his way, he did not go before kings and pray for them, and getting people to believe was not enough for most be healed by his gift. We can safely conclude that if William Branham did really meet the angel who gave him his gift, that angel was lying. It could not have been a holy angel.
We can find over one hundred accounts of failed pronouncements of healing in William Branham’s ministry. We can find dozens of accounts of the person he prayed for dying with days of being pronounced healed, we also have on tape cases of pronounced healing with no conditions and a “thus saith the Lord” promise dying shortly after the pronouncement of healing.
The summary of issues in this article is just that, a summary. Some of the accounts are very well documented accounts, like Carol Strubler or Donny Morton, of Jean Dryer who were prayed for on tape, the whole thing is recorded, yet they died shortly after. Even the ministers who were closest to William Branham, like Ern Baxter, have admitted the overwhelming majority of the healing claims were bogus. William Branham himself admitted to Raymond Jackson his “gift” didn’t work right.
While some small number of people were healed, it was just that, a small number. Given that he preached before hundreds of thousands of people in his ministry, and prayed for thousands, some percentage of those people were bound to get better – even if they were never prayed for. So of course, we would expect some reports of people getting better. What we would not expect is hundreds of reports of failed healing.
There is also a real biblical gift of knowledge or discernment. But unlike the gift of healing, the gift of discernment and knowledge can be easily counteriented. It is entirely possible William Branham’s gift was also counterfeit.
With certainty, the reports of William Branham’s discernments that we have been told in the Message are exaggerated, and his discernments were mistaken at times.
Here are my questions. Why is the magnitude of the failed healings not told to message believers? Why do the leaders hide and cover it up? Why did William Branham need prayer cards? And why did the angel lie to William Branham about his gifts?