|7 i) Introduction: I was led by the Spirit to compare Joyner’s
description of a man he saw exalted in heaven with the description in Roberts
Liardon provides of William Branham in Chapter 10 of his book “Gods
Generals.” The Lord probably led me to this particular book because
it condenses several other biographies of Branham into one easy to use condensed
chapter. By comparing the two descriptions it should become clear that the
person Joyner believes he saw was William Branham. Because Branham was such
an unusual and unique figure there should not really be any difficulty in
identifying him from Joyner’s descriptions.|
7 ii) Joyner sees William
Branham exalted in heaven: During one of his visits to “heaven” Joyner
believes he saw a minister he recognised from his childhood seated on “one
of the thrones,” (p. 144),
of highest honour next to Jesus’ throne. Joyner believes that “Jesus” told
him that “I just wanted you to see him here... and understand the
position he had with Me... He was a messenger to My last days church but
the church could not hear him... his message ... must be recovered,” (p.
145). Gods Generals says of Branham that “From a vision he insinuated,
(though never formally acknowledged) that he was THE end –time messenger,
and THE Laodicean prophet, who could reveal the seventh seal in the book
of Revelation,” (p. 340). So both describe this man as a great spiritual
7 iii) The scale of
ministry matches: Branham was an extremely
well known, (and controversial), healing evangelist. His meetings in South
1951, for example, drew “crowds estimated to be fifty thousand...Every
bus in the city was put to work, and still people could not be transported
to the Branham meetings,” (p. 331 of Gods Generals). This would fit
Joyner’s view of this man having been “a great evangelist,” (p.
7 iv) The dates match: Joyner tells us that this man had been an “evangelist
when I was a child,” (p. 144). Although I could not find Joyner’s
actual date of birth online he must be in his late fifties to early sixties
by now, so he would have been born around about the early 1950’s. Joyner
would therefore have been old enough as a child to follow the healing ministries
in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. As Branham was one of the most
publicised and controversial healing ministries around at this time it extremely
likely that Joyner had known about him as a child. Gods Generals states that “Branham
preached his last message during Thanksgiving week of 1965,” (p.341),
so Branham’s ministry would fit in with the timescale Joyner has provided.
Indeed Branham would also have died whilst Joyner was still quite young making
the dates a very precise match.
7 v) Branham’s
magazines and recordings: Joyner states “I had read
about him, and listened to some of his recorded messages”, (p. 144).
From “Gods Generals,”“Branham became the leader in the Voice
of Healing revival that originated in the late forties,” (p.312). The “Voice
of Healing Magazine” was produced by Gordon Lindsay, Branham’s
manager, mainly to cover Branham’s meetings although also those of other
healing ministries as well. If Joyner had been interested in these things as
a child, as he states he was, then he will have definitely read about Branham
who also distributed his teachings as recorded messages as well.
7 vi) The claims
made by some about Branham: Rick Joyner wrote “many
felt that he had walked in more power than anyone since the early church,” (p.
144). “Gods Generals” states that “Tremendous
manifestations took place", (p. 327). Whether all of the accounts
are true or can be attributed to the Holy Spirit is disputed, however, Joyner’s
comment above fits very closely with what many said about William Branham.
In fact no other healing
revivalist at that time had such great claims made about them.
7 vii) Branham’s
appearance of humility: R. Joyner wrote, “It was
hard not to be touched by his genuine humility,” (p. 145), “Gods
Generals” says of Branham, “He didn’t have a charismatic,
exuberant personality, but was best known for his humility and humble origins.
He often apologised for his lack of education and cultural abilities. Branham
couldn’t speak well before crowds. When he did speak, it was usually
with a very quiet and stuttering voice”, (p. 331). I would argue that
his shyness and self deprecating behaviour is more likely to have stemmed from
Branham’s poor and emotionally impoverished childhood than being a sign
of the humility that comes from the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Peter spoke boldly
when the Spirit came upon him on the day of Pentecost for example and Smith
Wigglesworth’s stutter disappeared to enable him to preach clearly. However
the above statement about Branham once again fits Joyner’s description
and the fact that Branham did have a type of humility.
7 viii) The errors
also fit the description of Branham’s ministry: Joyner, “Even
so, I also felt that some of his teachings had gone seriously awry,” (p.
145), “Gods Generals” records, “Branham had an incredible
healing gift. But having no bible knowledge to match it he turned into a doctrinal
disaster,” (p.342). “He even suggested that animals were a higher
rank of species than women,” “He predicted that the destruction
of the United States would begin in 1977,” “He often changed his
salvation doctrine as well,” (p.341). All except the staunchest Branhamite
recognises that Branham’s “teachings had gone seriously awry,” as
Joyner states of the man he saw exalted on a throne in heaven.
7 ix) Joyner’s
response to seeing Branham: R. Joyner, “I was surprised,
but also relieved, to see him sitting on a great throne,” (p. 145). “Gods
Generals”, “Though saddened by his death, the Pentecostal world
was not surprised, (p.342). “Actually it was an act of mercy on Gods
behalf. It is believed that he saved Branham from hell”, (p.343). We
would therefore expect Joyner to be both “surprised” and “relieved,” to
see who he believed to be Branham sitting on a great throne in “heaven.”
x) The description fits Branham in every detail: Rick Joyner “He did
fall into discouragement and delusion for a time,” (p. 145). Gods Generals “a
cult had formed around his personality…..They encouraged Branham in his
weird visions, claiming him to be the new Elijah, the forerunner of Christ’s
return”, (p.335). The description fits Branham again.
7 xi) Other evidence: Joyner’s former close colleague and fellow prophet,
Paul Cain, claimed he had ministered with Branham in the past and that Branham
was the greatest prophet since the bible era. The Kansas City Prophets group
that Joyner was closely linked to also drew from the errors of the Latter Day
Rain Movement of which Branham was the leading figure. Joyner’s own call
to honour the former healing revivalists of this era suggests that Joyner surely
honours Branham too. Joyner’s belief that the spirits of these past healing
revivalists will return to earth as great white eagles, (see Chapter 5, xxviii),
mirrors the Branhamite’s belief that Branham will return to earth as
the angel to the Laodicean church in the end times. Therefore it must surely
be Branham who Joyner believes he saw exalted on a throne in “heaven.” There
really is no one else who fits this description. Those closest to, or in league
with Joyner , will know that he is referring to William Branham here. Whilst
the more ordinary Christians who read his book will remain in the dark about
this as Joyner’s doesn’t actually name this man as Branham. This
will not therefore cause them to become suspicious of Joyner’s ministry
or cause others to start publically warning about his book. This leaves Joyner
free to wait until he has enough support in the body, and others trust him
enough, before revealing this to us. However a close study decodes that it
is definitely William Branham who Joyner is referring to here.
7 xii) Joyner
- a Branhamite: Joyner must surely be a secret Branhamite or Messenger himself.
Remember Joyner claims that Jesus told him that the man
he saw enthroned in heaven “was a messenger to my last day church, but
the church could not hear him for reasons that you must understand”,
(p. 145). This is exactly what Branham’s followers claim about Branham
today. Using Gods Generals again, “A following was born out of this group…They
call themselves “The Messengers.” Today they are also known as
the “Branhamites”… They are followers of Branham believing
him to be the Laodicean messenger for this church age”, (p. 343). As
Joyner’s vision is also calling us back to Branham’s ministry and
message Joyner is therefore a Brahamite himself, along with Paul Cain, Todd
Bentley and probably Bob Jones as well, amongst others.
In the next chapter I was led by the Spirit to examine some of the spiritual
manifestations and teachings that occurred throughout Branham’s life
to gauge which of these appear to be from God and which appear to be deceptive
and of the occult.