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.
Joe Riley was one of William Branham's friends who he turned to in times of rest. Joe Riley and his son Dawson Riley (whose testimony we removed from this site), and William Branham and his son Billy Paul would often hunt together for cougar. Joe Riley attended many of William Branham's services between 1947 and 1965, and is a witness to many healings and prophecies.
These testimonies are excerpts from a video recorded in Canada in 2001.
|Many of the incidents I know personally. ...And I have seen in Pentecost people guessing...saying somebody here you're elbow hurts, or your back hurts. ...It was different with Brother Branham. He was very positive and very specific. It wasn't a guessing affair.|
Joe Riley had a Christian heritage. His grandfather was a minister, and had preached to the native people in Oklahoma as he was half Indian himself. His father was also a minister, and had baptized a teenager named Richard T. Reed during the course of his ministry. Richard T. Reed was the minister who invited William Branham to Jonesborough Arkansas in 1947, launching William Branham's public ministry.
Joe Riley's mother-in-law, a very poor Arkansas widow, told him about William Branham. Within a few months William Branham had a meeting in Monterey Park, which was 50 miles from where he was living in Los Angeles. Joe Riley attended this meeting and witnessed the miracle of a girl healed of crossed eyes (see attached video), and a man delivered from epilepsy.
Prophecy of wearing glasses
In January 1963 William Branham was cougar hunting with Billy Paul, Joe Riley, and Dawson Riley. Billy and Dawson were target practicing with a super-X box of shells, but couldn't hit the centre of the red X that covered the box. William Branham stepped up to show the boys how to shoot, and Dawson challenged him to split the two holes on the box, instead of hitting the X. Taking the challenge, William Branham also said "I think I may need my specs for this shot" and took his glasses out of his pocket.
Joe Riley said "Oh, so you're an old man now, and you have to wear glasses."
William Branham slowly turned and looked at Joe Riley and said "I'll give you 3 years and you will put on a pair."
In January 1966, shortly after the passing of William Branham, Joe Riley's daughter made arrangements for him to get his eyes checked. A few days later, when the doctor put the glasses on his face for the first time, Joe Riley remembered what William Branham had said. Looking at his wife's diary, he found that it was 3 years to the day that William Branham had made the simple statement that had turned into a prophecy. Even further, Joe Riley witnessed that it was around 10:00 in the morning when William Branham had made that statement, and it was around 10:00 in the morning when the doctor put the glasses over his eyes.
Genie Hawkins cured of Leukemia
Joe Riley attended Bro. Outlaw's church, and played the stand-up bass during that time. One of the deacons had a 3 year old daughter with leukemia, and Joe Riley went to talk to William Branham about praying for the girl. William Branham asked if Joe Riley had a handkerchief, which he had, and he put that handkerchief in his shirt pocket while he preached.
After the service, William Branham returned the handkerchief to Joe Riley and said "I am not able to go pray for the girl, but you pick up the girl, put this handkerchief on her stomach under her gown, and pronounce her healed". Joe Riley then drove from Tucson to Phoenix, where Genie was hospitalized, and did exactly what William Branham had told him to do. Genie recovered, and returned home, and lived for another 37 years.