The Amber Cloud
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.
When William Branham preached his sermon on Marriage and Divorce, he told his congregation that God gave specific vindication that confirmed that his revelation on the subject was true.
Is this what really happened?
The vindication that William Branham referred to was an amber cloud moving up and down on the mountain as school children watched. However, there is no reporting of this in any newspapers or other independent sources.
Here is what William Branham said:
- This is to my church only--not my church, the little flock that believes me and follows me; this is to them.
- The other day, knowing that when I tell you anything it must come THUS SAITH THE LORD, then I had the Scriptures as He revealed it to me, but, "Lord God, what can I say to that congregation? I'll have separations. Men will be setting on the porch and out in the yard and everywhere else: 'Shall I leave her?' Women: 'Shall I leave my husband?' 'What shall I do?'" I said, "Lord, what can I do?"
- Something said to me, "Go up yonder in the mountains, and I'll talk to you."
- And while I was up in the mountain... Not knowing that down in Tucson they were seeing it, but even the teachers called the children from (my little girl and them)--from the schoolroom and said, "Look yonder in that mountain. There's a fiery looking amber cloud going up in the air and coming back down, and going up in the air and coming back down."
- Mrs. Evans, are you here? Ronnie, you here? I come on back down to the station; this young boy (by the filling station, Evans' filling station there)--and before I knowed what the boy was going to say, he took me off my feet. He said, "Brother Branham, you was up in that mountain over yonder, wasn't you?"
- I said, "What do you mean, Ronnie? No." (See? To see what he was going to do.) Lot of times things happen I don't--you don't say it to people. It becomes... The thing of it is, you see so much happening, it becomes common to you. See? I just don't tell the people. I said, "Ronnie, what was you..."
- He said, "I can show you right where you were at." Said, "I called mama, and we stood here and watched that Cloud hanging up in here, going up and down. I said, 'It's got to be Brother Branham setting up in there somewhere. That's God talking to him.'"
- And the whole city of people looked at it. On a bright day with no clouds nowhere at all, with this big amber Cloud hanging there, coming down like a funnel and going back and spreading out.
- Friends (and then I'm closing, you can go from this), that's when this was being revealed to me, what I'm going to tell you right now. So don't miss it.
- Now, I'm speaking to our followers only, who's following me and this Message only, not the outside. Bear me record of this before God: just to this group only.
From this statement it appears as though William Branham went up the mountain to get a Word from the Lord and that this amber cloud appeared as a vindication that what he was going to speak was "Thus saith the Lord."
Or was it all in a dream?
But we also need to look at what William Branham said later on the same day, but in the evening service:
- If it happens to be that my good friend Brother Roy Roberson is listening in at Tucson, Roy, you remember the other day the vision you seen when we were out standing upon the mountain? You come up to me, and that cloud was over the top? Come walking down, you know what He told you, I told you at the house the other day? That's it, Roy. Don't worry no more, son; it's over.
So, by William Branham's statement it looks as if Roy Roberson was with Williamr Branham on the mountain, but it was in a vision.
What happened in the dream?
The following is what actually happened, based on the account as told by Roy Roberson:
- "That summer after Brother Branham left for Jeffersonville, I got real homesick. And it was during this time that I had a dream, or I should say a 'vision' because that is what Brother Branham called it.
- In my vision, I was standing near Brother Branham's home in Tuscon, which he had not moved into yet, in the Catalina Mountains. Just in front of me was a deep canyon in the mountain, and I saw Brother Branham standing in the center of that canyon.
- It seems that I was about three or four hundred yards down the mountain, and there were two brothers with me, Brother Welch Evans and Brother Fred Sothman.
- There was an amber cloud going up and down over Brother Branham.
- Then I heard a voice that sounded like it was coming from a loudspeaker in the cloud, and it said: "This is my prophet, and as Moses led the children of Israel, so will this my prophet lead this generation."
- And when the voice stopped, the men that were with me started rejoicing and jumping, saying, " I told you so, I told you so."
- Well, I called Brother Branham and told him what I had seen, and he said it was a vision sent from the Lord and he would reveal it when the time come.
- The following February, seven months later, Brother Branham preached, "Marriage and Divorce" on Sunday morning, the twenty-first. We were listening to the services in Tucson, via a telephone hook-up, and that evening, just before he preached Who Is This Melchisedec?, he was commenting on the morning service. I heard him say, "If it happens to be that my good friend Brother Roy Roberson is listening in at Tucson, Roy, you remember the other day the vision you seen when we were out standing upon the mountain? You come up to me, and that cloud was over the top?" 
The questions that must be asked
The questions that must be asked are as follows:
- 1. Did an amber cloud actually descend, or did Roy Roberson's dream simply make its way into William Braham's story?
- 2. Were there any independent confirmation of what William Branham says was witnessed by the public or was he simply making it up from Roy Roberson's dream?
- 3. Was the "Marriage and Divorce" really "Thus Saith the Lord" or just "Thus saith William Branham"?
A special thanks to James Manuel of South Africa for doing the research into this issue and bringing it to our attention.
- MARRIAGE.AND.DIVORCE_ JEFF.IN V-3 N-13 SUNDAY_ 65-0221M
- WHO.IS.THIS.MELCHISEDEC_ JEFF.IN V-5 N-10 SUNDAY_ 65-0221E
- Only Believe Magazine, Issue 8, Volume 3, Number 2, Believers International Inc., 1990