Prophecies of William Branham's Death
Did Kenneth Hagin and Anna Schrader predict William Branham’s death in 1964?
In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. (2 Cor 13:1)
Kenneth Hagin's Account
Kenneth Hagin was an influential American Pentecostal preacher who is often referred to as the “father” of the “Word of Faith” movement. Kenneth Hagin went on to establish a large teaching ministry, with book and magazine printing, radio and television programs, and Bible schools. In later years, Kenneth Hagin brought disrepute to his own ministry through his involvement in the “Holy Laughter” movement.
Hagin was known to William Branham, who said the following about him in 1955:
- "This morning I was at the Assemblies of God church for the morning meeting, where we had a lovely service. I was listening at the evangelist there. I can’t think of the man’s name. Hagin, Brother Hagin. Very reliable teacher, Pastor, a lovely man, they were very sorry they was having a revival during the time of our campaign, but they’ve had it staged for about a year. And they had to go ahead, through with it. So it was perfectly all right. But we want to show them our love, that we love them. We’re not divided in this work of the Lord. We’re all together, one body are we, moving on. And every morning, at ten till eleven o’clock, they having services there in the …Brother Hagin, this morning is teaching on Divine healing, which had a marvelous message. I sure appreciate it. My first time ever getting to shake hands with the brother, but a mighty fine man.” (W. Branham, Sermon: Glorified Jesus, February 25, 1955)
The Hagin Prophecy
|The prophecy as printed on pages 165-166 of this book is as follows:
Freda Lindsay's Account
Freda Lindsay was the wife of Gordon Lindsay, who was the editor of “Voice of Healing” and one of William Branham’s early campaign managers. Mrs. Lindsay authored My Diary Secrets in 1976. The copy we obtained was from the seventh printing in 1998, which is the only edition marked as revised. We have not confirmed whether any part of the revision impacts this prophecy, but at this point we assume that it does not.
Mrs. Lindsay went on to lead Christ for the Nations, Inc., and was instrumental in building more than 10,000 churches in impoverished countries worldwide, prior to her death in 2010.
|The prophecy as printed in on pages 209-210 of this book is as follows:
Comments and Questions relating to the Hagin Prophecy
1. The prophecy referred to in these books is not identical, which probably means two things:
- a. As Mrs. Lindsay wrote her book first, it is unlikely that Kenneth Hagin used it as a source to write his book.
- b. Both books indicate that Kenneth Hagin had the prophecy in writing. However, it appears that Kenneth Hagin kept a written copy of the prophecy as his recollection of the prophecy is very specific. On the other hand, it appears that Freda Lindsay is recalling the conversation between Kenneth Hagin and her husband from the account written in her diary and it is therefore not as specific as she does not refer to the exact wording of the prophecy.
2. There is a scriptural principal, found in Deut. 19:15, Matthew 18:16, and II Cor 13:1, that evidence established by two or more witnesses should be regarded. Apart from the fact that the two prophecies are not identical, the combined testimonies of Kenneth Hagin and Freda Lindsay point to the conclusion that prior to William Branham’s death, a prophecy was made that he would die before the end of 1965.
3. The comments made by Kenneth Hagin and Freda Lindsay, describing the situation in which the prophecy was given to Gordon Lindsay, generally agree with each other and, therefore, substantiate the fact that the prophecy was made in January 1964. This conclusion is based on the scriptural principle of two witnesses as discussed earlier.
4. The interpretation of the prophecy as contained in each book is not necessarily correct, as it is based on each author’s perspective and personal biases.
5. The source of the prophecy, being Kenneth Hagin, should not bring disrepute to the prophecy even though Kenneth Hagin later involved himself in questionable teachings and practices (i.e., holy laughter). There are instances in the Bible of prophecies made by people who later made wrong decisions. At the time, this prophecy was made in January 1964, Kenneth Hagin did the right thing by bringing it in front of other spiritual men to judge.
Anna Schrader's Prophecies
Freda Lindsay wrote that her husband believed that William Branham was going to die because “he thinks he is Elijah.” Kenneth Hagin infers that William Branham passed away because he didn’t “leave the Bible teaching to the teachers,” but also supports the position that William Branham passed away as a result of thinking he was Elijah in a reference to a prophecy he attributes to Anna Schrader:
|:“… Then brother Lindsay related something else to me that had happened regarding this same prophet. He said to me, ‘This past year, I was praying with my wife and sister Schrader about the work of the ministry. (Sister Schrader was a prophetess who has since gone on to be with the Lord.) We were praying about different projects in our ministry. Right in the middle of the prayer, Sister Schrader blurted out, ‘Go warn Brother [Branham]… he’s going to die.’ Brother Lindsay said, ‘I was busy, and I let that get to me, and I didn’t go warn him like I was supposed to. Then later, my wife and I and Sister Schrader were again praying about ministry projects. Again Sister Schrader blurted out right in the middle of prayer, ‘Go warn Brother [Branham]… he’s going to die. He’s walking in the way of Dowie.’ After his morning meeting, Brother Lindsay said, ‘I talked to him as the Lord had instructed me, but I saw that he wouldn’t listen…” (K. Hagin, ‘He Gave Gifts unto Men’, pg 164-170).|
Alexander Dowie was a faith healer at the turn of the 20th century who established a city in Zion, Illinois, and believed that he was Elijah the prophet.
William Braham was familiar with Sister Schrader, and said the following about her prophetic ministry:
- “How many knows the visions almost kill you. Jesus…One woman touched His garment and virtue went from Him. You know that? Here’s little Miss Schrader here. I was talking to her today in there. You wonder why she lays like that. She has a gift of prophecy. That’s what does it. “ (W. Branham, Sermon: Conference, November 25, 1960, Par. E-64)
Comments and Questions relating to the Schrader Prophecies
1. It is interesting to note that both William Branham and Kenneth Hagin agree that Anna Schrader was a prophetess. So the question is not so much about whether Sister Schrader made a prophecy about William Branham’s death, but whether Kenneth Hagin accurately retells that prophecy. Kenneth Hagin is the only one (that we know of so far) who has publicly recounted this prophecy.
3. Unlike the prophecy that Kenneth Hagin made himself, he probably went from memory as to what this prophecy actually said. Given that Kenneth Hagin’s book was published in 1992 (at least 27 years after the fact), it is unlikely that he remembered it word-for-word, which is extremely important with prophecy. If Freda Lindsay could completely re-phrase Kenneth Hagin’s prophecy in the time it took to pen it in her diary (a matter of hours or perhaps a few days), it is a certainty that Kenneth Hagin recollection would be imperfect given the passage of years.
3. Unless a second historical witness confirms the prophecy, the exact wording of Anna Schrader’s prophecy is subject to legitimate sceptism, especially in light of the following prophecy that is also attributed to Anna Schrader:
- “The next incident was a stirring message given in the Spirit and interpreted, almost identical to two others which were to be given in other Branham meetings in different places, a sure testimony of the authenticity of this anointed ministry. It was uttered with such rousing force that it almost seemed unearthly, and this was the gist of the message… that as John the Baptist was sent as a forerunner of the Lord’s first coming, so was He sending forth this evangelist and others like him to move the people and prepare them for His second coming. Months later we heard this same message interpreted amidst a large crowd of people attending the Branham meeting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Sister Anna Schrader whom we later learned to appreciate deeply. Truly, these words penetrated our hearts.” (Gordon Lindsay, A Man Sent From God)
- “Mrs. Schrader, I got your note. (I know Sister Schrader.) You asked me about the tape. I haven’t been home yet to hear it. I’ll get it when I get home. Sister Schrader, you’re a good woman. I love you, my sister. You was the one, me not knowing you, when I walked in and someone spoke in tongues, and you gave the interpretation, and said the very same thing that the Light did, when it come down over me down there, when I first was a Baptist preacher. Said, “As John the Baptist was sent forth to forerun the first coming of Christ, you’re sent forth, and your message will forerun the second coming.” (W. Branham, Sermon: The Way Back, November 23, 1962, Par. 203)
4. Comparing these two versions of Anna Schrader’s prophecy is also very interesting, as there is one noticeable difference: Gordon Lindsay’s recollection includes the statement “and others like him” while William Branham’s recollection simply says “your message”. Based on William Branham's record of changing stories over time, we would have to judge Gordon Lindsay's account as being more accurate.
5. Kenneth Hagin’s version of this prophecy is likely paraphrased. Kenneth Hagin’s version of this prophecy could be subject to a considerable amount of error in its retelling, as he is the only one to document this prophecy and as he was not present to hear the original prophecy.
6. It is very unlikely that Anna Schrader would first prophesy that William Branham was sent forth to forerun the second coming (whether with or without other ministers is outside the scope of this article), and then prophecy his doom for “walking in the way of Dowie”.
7. It is probable that Anna Schrader did prophecy his death at some point prior to December 1965.
8. The last time William Branham mentioned Anna Schrader was in November 1965, a month prior to his passing, during a sermon in which he recognized her sitting in the audience. (W. Branham, Sermon: The Invisible Union of the Bride of Christ, November 25, 1965, par 66)
H. Richard Hall
Rev. H.Richard Hall was a Church of God of Prophecy minister who later started his own ministry in Cleveland Tennessee.
- Brother Hall has done a wonderful job. I met Brother Hall some time ago. He's been a bosom brother to me. And I tell you; I've been with Brother Hall a long time. And I believe Brother Hall lives just exactly what he talks about. And that's right. A good man, a Christian man… Brother Lindsay has gone back to the "Voice of Healing." He has a lot of—of subscribers and things. He has to be there. Perhaps Brother Hall and I will be together the rest of the summer, all but when I meet with Brother Baxter, another fine Christian gentleman, Brother Baxter. We'll be going to Africa together pretty soon.
Wile Rev. Hall did not agree with a lot of William Branham's teachings, they were very close.
A short time before William Branham died, he and Rev. Hall were talking as they had on many occasions. William Branham told Rev. Hall that the Lord was about to take him off the scene because many of the people had started to worship him and it wasn't right.
It appears that William Branham had taken the prophetic warnings from Gordon Lindsay seriously, but he was not prepared to listen to the reason behind the warnings as they had been conveyed to him.
Quotes of William Branham
Having God remove you from the earth for disobeying God was clearly part of William Branham's philosophy:
- He started going down, and got sick. See? God couldn't speak to him. I warned him, I done everything I could. Brother Smith went to him and warned him. Everybody tried to do everything they could for him. Still, he just shook his head. What happened? He took sick and died. That showed that he was a saved man. If God could not make him… bring him in obedience, He will have to take him out of the earth and bring him Home. That's exactly what the Bible said. That's what the Bible promises. If you won't stand correction, you've got to come on Home. 476 So God cannot lose you after He's saved you, but He can shorten your days here, and make you pay for every sin you've done. So, if you sin, you're going to have to pay for what you've done. Just remember that.
- Now, now the Lord be with you. I believe, tonight, that Brother Ramsey was saved. Absolutely, I believe it. But he just wouldn't obey God, and when he wouldn't obey God, God had to bring him home. That's the only thing to do, because, what was it? "He would bring reproach and disgrace to the Blood wherewith he was sanctified with." That right? "And count the covenant an unholy thing," if that isn't just exactly what this Hebrew letter said. See? It would be impossible for him to be lost, but he would bring shame and disgrace, so God would have to take him off the earth and bring him Home. That's exactly what had taken place.
- Lindsay, Freda, My Diary Secrets, Christ for the Nations Inc., seventh edition, 1998.
- Hagin, Kenneth,He Gave Gifts Unto Men, Kenneth Hagin Ministries Inc., 1992.