Categorizing William Branham's Prophecies
On September 12, 2020, the first-ever English language debate between a message pastor (Jesse Smith of Akron, OH) and an ex-message Christian (Rod Bergen from the Off The Shelf podcast) took place. The discussion was moderated by Jay Cox and Tim Kraus.
William Branham clearly claimed to be a prophet. But is there any evidence to back up his claim?
Biblical test of a prophet
Deuteronomy 13:1–3 states that the test of a prophet is in his message, not in his signs:
- If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.
According to Deuteronomy 18:20–2:
- He must speak in the name of the Lord, not some other god.
- His message must be in accord with God’s revealed truth in Scripture.
- His predictions of future events must come true exactly as predicted.
This primary test of a prophet in Old Testament times that his predictions could be precisely validated at a later time as also confirmed in 1 Samuel 3:19 and 9:6:
- As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable.
- But the servant replied, “Look, in this town there is a man of God; he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true.
Paul lays a test down for New Testament prophets:
- If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.
Categorizing William Branham's prophecies
The prophecies that William Branham made can be categorized as:
- Before-the-fact or after-the-fact;
- Fulfilled, unfulfilled or failed; and
- Ambiguous (clear) or unambiguous (fuzzy).
Under the test of the Old Testament, to be considered a true prophet of God, several before-the-fact unambiguous prophecies would have to be made and then subsequently clearly fulfilled at a later date.
Does William Branham meet this test?
William Branham's prophecies can be categorized as follows:
|The Municipal Bridge Vision||No||Failed||Yes|
|The Brown Bear Vision||Yes||Failed||Yes|
|The Vision of the Meetings in South Africa||Yes||Failed||Yes|
- Did William Branham make any REAL prophecies? (We can't find any before the fact prophecies on any tape!)
SevenTen Prophecies of 1933
- Why did William Branham prophecy that America would start World War 2? (Prophecy Changed/Failed Prophecy)
- Was Mussloni's invasion of Ethiopia really his last invasion? (Prophecy Changed/Failed Prophecy)
- Why did William Branham's prophecy of Hitler change over time? (Prophecy Changed)
- Did Facism, Nazisim and Communism really unite into Communism? (Failed Prophecy)
- Did the prophecy of egg-shaped come from William Branham's visit to the 1933 World's Fair? ("After the Fact" Prophecy)
- Was William Branham's prophecy of a driverless car based on a Disney TV program? ("After the Fact" Prophecy)
- Are women really going to wear a fig leaf apron and go topless? (Failed Prophecy)
- Did women elect the wrong person or was it the men's vote? ("After the Fact" Prophecy/Failed Prophecy)
- Why did William Branham state that the prophecy of the rise of the cruel woman in America was already fulfilled? (Failed Prophecy)
- Why did William Branham change his prophecy of the destruction of America? (Prophecy Changed)
- Why is Los Angeles still above water if Billy Paul is an old man? (Failed Prophecy)
- Was William Branham's death before the Rapture a failed prophecy? (Failed Prophecy)
- Why did William Branham prophecy that Martin Luther King, Jr. would cause the death of millions, when this didn't happen? (Failed Prophecy)
- Was William Branham's vision of Marilyn Monroe's death accurate? (Failed Prophecy)
- Why did William Branham change the vision of the angels appearing? (Prophecy Changed)
- Why did William Branham predict that the USA would be destroyed by 1977? (Failed Prophecy)
- Was the meeting of Nikita Khrushchev and Dwight Eisenhower the fulfillment of Daniel chapter 2? (Failed Prophecy)
- Will Russia destroy the Vatican? (Failed Prophecy)
- Why did William Branham say that man would never land on the moon... but the communists might? (Failed Prophecy)
- Was the prophecy of the World Council of Churches accurate? (Failed Prophecy)
- 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)
- Was the prophecy of the 1964 Alaska earthquake made after the fact? ("After the Fact" Prophecy)
- What is the Third Pull? Was it prophetic? (too vague to qualify as a bona fide prophecy)
- Did William Branham really prophecy where he would live? ("After the Fact" Prophecy)
- 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)
- Is Florida going under as well? (Ambiguous prophecy)
- Did William Branham prophesy his own death? (This was not a prophecy)
- Why did William Branham's original commissioning vision disappear? (This vision was abandoned by William Branham)
- Was the birth of Joseph Branham foretold? (Ambiguous prophecy)
- Was the death of Florence Shakarian prophesied before she died? (Ambiguous prophecy)
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Dt 13:1–3.
- Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2013), 1 Sa 3:19.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Sa 9:6.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Co 14:37–38.