An Open Letter to William Branham
And, yes, we do realize he is dead, but this is what we want to say to him given his major impact on our lives (more about that below).
Dear Brother Branham
Dear Brother Branham,
We called you 'brother' because you said if we love you we should call you brother. It wasn't just a term of endearment, it was a title of utmost respect.
We were honored to be allowed into your world, to share the pain of your difficult childhood, to understand your trials as a young adult. We felt privileged to peer into your 'spiritual gifts'. We were awed by your supernatural encounters, and certain you were 'one of a kind' in the midst of religious chaos and confusion. You even convinced us you were an Old Testament prophet and the very 'voice of God' to the world.
You told us about a bridge, a voice, and a cloud. They were of utmost importance. We talked about them often. We even witnessed to others about them hoping that they might see how special you are, and might be convinced to follow you. We were touched by your humility and how you made yourself seem so insignificant, yet you were the only person on earth who could truly understand the Bible. You told us that God shared secrets with you that no one else was allowed to know, but that you could tell us because we were special. We knew we were special because we believed you. You taught us that believing your message was the only way to be saved, and you even said it was proof that we had the Holy Ghost. We dared not question you, as we didn't want to be lost or without the Holy Ghost.
You preached things we couldn't find in the Bible, but we didn't care, because we trusted you. If you said they were in the Bible, we trusted you. You had the ability to read between the lines.
You told us we were the little elect group, specially chosen by God to know the truth, while all the other churches on earth walked in error. We believed you and clung to our 'superior' truth. You told us we were the bride of Christ, because only the bride would hear that 'certain sound', and that everyone else was canon fodder or serpent's seed. We felt very important. You told us we didn't have a thought coming, that we were not to lean to our own understanding, so we stopped thinking for ourself and placed our trust implicitly in you.
You said that prophets were eagles who could fly higher and see farther than any other bird. You told us we were little eaglets just waiting to hear the 'eagle cry', and that we could soar high into the heavens. You told us that no matter what anyone else said, we must "only believe" because you had special revelations from an angel. We all sang "only believe" from the bottom of our hearts.
We followed your rules so we could apply the 'token' to our homes. We knew we would be spared from God's wrath when His judgement annihilated our country, which you had condemned to hell. You said that in Heaven you would be gathered with your people. We were so grateful to be those people who would gather around you beyond the curtain of time, screaming "Our precious brother!"
Brother Branham, we loved you so much. We woke up to your voice. We fell asleep to your voice. We couldn't get enough of 'the word for our day'.
So, Brother Branham, we would like to ask you:
- Why did you tell us things about your early life that weren't true? Why did we weep about things that never happened? Why were we heartbroken over nothing?
- Why did you tell us about events in your life which proved you were someone special, when they never even took place?
- Why did you convince us you had a unique insight into the Scripture when your teachings were clearly not Biblical?
- Do you have any idea how foolish it felt to know we had witnessed to people about a bridge collapsing (that didn't collapse), a voice speaking from the sky (that didn't speak), and an 'angel cloud' (that was from a missile)?
- Do you know how astonished we were when we realized that salvation was not found through your message, but rather through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ alone and the finished work of Calvary?
- Do you know how frustrating it was to find out your list of rules was not even Biblical and that you had placed burdens upon us which God never intended?
- Do you know how disappointed we were to find out your 'special revelations' didn't come from an angel at all, but were actually from the teachings of a preacher named Clarence Larkin?
- How do you think it felt when we realized that we had been listening to the wrong voice? That our hearts should have been rejoicing over what Christ had done for us, rather than being "in the message".
- Why did we "only believe" things that aren't even in our Bible simply because you insisted we must? Why were we afraid to put it to the test like the Scripture instructs us to?
- Do you know how much regret we have that you filled places in our life where only Jesus Christ should have been? Why were we thinking about going 'beyond the curtain' with you when our only longing should have been to see our precious Lord and Savior?
What we now know
Brother Branham, we may never know your motives, but the truth is, we don't need to know them.
- WHAT we do know is that God has graciously opened our eyes to the fact that we were woefully deceived by you.
- WHAT we do know is that we can now read our Bible for what it says, and the Holy Spirit can open our hearts to understand the Scriptures as He promised He would.
- WHAT we do know is that Christianity is much bigger than your little group of followers and we have found many churches that do, indeed, preach the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- WHAT we do know is that we can rejoice in the beautiful truths we now see in God's Word and live a victorious life through the Holy Spirit.
- WHAT we do know is that He is the One who now fills our hearts and minds. We wake up to His voice. We fall asleep to His voice. He alone sits upon the throne of our hearts.
AND WE ARE SO THANKFUL.
Why am I writing to a dead man? Because his lies live on to deceive other precious souls. But, God is faithful as He continues to graciously open the eyes of His dear children. And in the end, the victory belongs to Jesus Christ.
And with this being said, Brother Branham, we bid you farewell.