Word Connect header graphic Word Connect header graphic
Word Connect header graphic Word Connect header graphic
Home page View all Articles and Words Contact Us
Word Connect header graphic
Word Connect header graphic Word Connect header graphic Word Connect header graphic Word Connect header graphic
Decoding Rick Joyner’s “THE FINAL QUEST”
Return to Index
Summary of Chapter 9

8) Examining the spiritual experiences of William Branham:

8 i) A spiritual light appears at Branham’s birth: [I’m viewing these things purely from a scriptural and analytical point of view here, we can all pray for discernment as well but that remains a personal thing and cannot really be transferred to others]. Branham had many spiritual experiences before he found “faith” in Christ. He was told by his parents that a spiritual light had appeared at his birth. Liardon, (whose book “Gods Generals” I am using again for quotes), retells the storey of what happened using Branham’s own words; “Suddenly, a light come whirling through the window, about the size of a pillow, and circled around where I was, and went down on the bed,” (p. 312). This occurred after his grandmother “decided to open the window so the Branham’s could better see their new son,” (p. 312). Whether or not this really was a spiritual light or a natural one which was interpreted as spiritual this storey became almost foundational to Branham’s identity. This led to him viewing himself as especially called of God and an exalted prophet. This storey in many ways parallels the appearance of the star of Bethlehem. Branham’s birth in great poverty in a shack likewise parallels the birth of Jesus in a manger. This must surely have contributed to Branham developing the Messianic complex he certainly suffered from towards the end of his life. Branham believed that he alone was the end time’s messenger to the Laodicean church and that only he was able to open the seventh seal of the Book of Revelation, something which the bible states that Jesus Christ alone is able to do, (Rev Ch 5). There is evidence that Branham may even have seen himself as the Christ towards the end of his life. Branham believed that “the spoken word from his mouth would change physical bodies into glorified bodies for the rapture,” (p. 340). His family also appeared to believe these things about him and refused to bury him for many days after he died in the belief that he was about to be raised from the dead, “Although the funeral was held December 29, 1965, Branham’s body was not buried until Easter of 1966,” (p. 343). A large cult following also grew around Branham, “Branham’s followers refuse to see him as a human being and rumours of his return continue to circulate,” “the Branhamites have never accepted his death,” (p. 343). There is no doubt that Branham emerged as a false prophet and false teacher towards the end of his life. It appears to me that the light at Branham’s birth was either caused by Satan or that false reports of this were used by Satan to influence the identity of Branham from childhood. This then paved the way for Branham to be raised up and used as a false prophet later on once his ministry was established. I believe that Branham was targeted by the devil from his birth in 1909, just five years after the Welsh revival had started, in order to infiltrate the rapidly growing Pentecostal Movement with deception.

8 ii) A spiritual wind terrifies Branham: Aged seven Branham then experienced a terrifying spiritual wind. A voice from within this ministered legalistic rules to him about never drinking or smoking. For years after this Branham would be scared by a manifestation of this wind and a “fear would sweep over him, (p. 316), every time he was about to break those rules. This would result in Branham running away in fear. Liardon reports that, “As result of his strange behaviour, Branham had very few friends as he was growing up,” (p. 316). Branham was already suffering from extreme poverty, he often didn’t even have a shirt to wear to school, and appears to have already been emotionally deprived as well. It does not seem likely that the Lord would add to his childhood sufferings by terrifying Branham in this way for no apparent reason. These experiences did not lead Branham to Christ or to salvation but could have given Branham a very false and harsh view of the Lord for the rest of his life. Here’s Liardon’s full account of Branham’s first experience of this wind, “Suddenly, he heard the sound of a wind blowing in the top of the tree. He jumped up to look, and he noticed that the wind was not blowing in any other place. Stepping back, he looked up into the tree, and a voice came saying, “Never drink, smoke, or defile your body in any way, for I have a work for you to do when you get older”... Startled by the voice and shaking, the little boy ran home crying into the arms of his mother. Wondering if he had been bitten by a snake, she tried to calm him. Failing to sooth him, she put him to bed and called the doctor, fearful he was suffering from some strange form of nervous disorder... For the rest of his childhood, Branham did everything he could to avoid passing that tree,” (p. 315). Liardon believes that this is further evidence that Branham was especially chosen and called of God. However, if this experience of the wind, and the later reoccurrences of it, were really from the Holy Spirit then why didn’t Branham develop any faith in Christ until fourteen years later? Surely God would have first saved Branham from hell by telling him that Jesus had died on the cross for his sins instead of scaring and disturbing him, whilst he was still an unbeliever, whenever he was about to smoke or drink? What occurred was very legalistic and Old Covenant. Christians are called to live according to the New Covenant within which the gifts and callings of God come by grace. Seven years later, aged 14, Branham had still not found faith in Christ. As Liardon recalls, “Although Branham had received supernatural manifestations in his life, he was not yet born again,” (p. 316). Something doesn’t therefore add up concerning the interpretation of events that Liardon offers in his book. It appears to me far more likely that Branham’s experiences of this wind were occult in nature, sent to influence Branham from early on, setting him on a course to be used as a false prophet, as happened later on.

8 iii) The same spiritual light and wind infiltrate Branham’s early ministry: The same deceptive light and wind infiltrated Branham’s “Christian” ministry later on in life. As this light and wind were both seen and experienced by others at Branham’s first crusade they cannot have simply been products of his imagination or the result of mental illness. Liardon reports how “In 1933, at the age of twenty-four, Branham held his first major tent revival in Jeffersonville. As many as three thousand people attended in one night.” During that meeting Branham claimed “A whirl came... here come that light, shining down... it hung right over where I was at... and it like to scared me to death,” (p. 319). So the spirit behind this manifestation created the same fear response in Branham that had terrified him in childhood and continued to confuse him thereafter. Thousands in the crowd also ran away in fear when they saw that light which is not how we would expect Gods Holy Spirit to interact with a crowd gathered to hear the gospel. I believe that this was another occult manifestation therefore.

8 vi) The light and wind lie at the heart of Branham’s ministry: Those that remained at that Jeffersonville meeting were greatly impressed by the display of power associated with the spiritual light and wind. As a result they built “Branham’s Tabernacle,” for him which became the base for his ministry thereafter. So the light and wind were foundational to Branham’s ministry. After this initial meeting though Branham’s popularity started to go downhill and his own congregation began to doubt whether his spiritual experiences were really of God. Liardon; “His Baptist church seemed to grow impatient with him, calling his visions demonic. They even suggested that the light which appeared at his birth probably indicated the presence of a demon on his life,” (p. 324). [Note that although Branham and his church were still Baptist at this time they did believe in divine healing]. So whilst the spiritual power initially impressed his congregation they soon started to doubt Branham as they got to know him better and changed their views and considered these spiritual manifestations to be occult in nature.

8 vii) Further evidence that these manifestations were of the occult: Branham still didn’t understand this wind even after he had been in ministry many years. “On May 7, 1946... Branham... and a friend... were outside under a large maple tree when, according to Branham, “It seemed that the whole top of the tree let loose... it seemed like something came down from that tree like a great rushing wind.” Branham’s second wife then came running out of the house and Branham, “Trying to get control of his emotion... told her the storey of the past twenty years. At that point he made a decision that he was going to find out, once and for all, what was behind this “wind,” (p. 324). As God is not the author of confusion and this wind was still terrifying and confusing Branham long into his “Christian” life it surely cannot have been from God.

8 viii) Branham’s encounter with a (fallen) angel: It was the intolerable experience of the wind that finally led to Branham to seeking answers about it. Liardon records Branham saying, “I told her (his wife) and my child good- bye and warned her that if I didn’t come back in a few days, perhaps I might never return,” (p. 324). This is very odd in itself, Branham was in ministry at this point, why didn’t he ask God, as his Father, about the wind decades earlier, why did he think doing so could kill him? This suggests to me that Branham had a very distant relationship with God, and was still influenced by the unhealthy fear of the wind from his childhood which terrified him so much. These spiritual experiences were therefore bearing a very negative fruit in Branham’s life and relationship with God. As Branham started praying from this perspective about the wind either an angel or a fallen angel then appeared to him. First a “light” manifest, (which again reflects back to the storey of a light at his birth), “Then he heard someone walking. As he looked, he saw the feet of a man coming toward him... dressed in a white robe.” I believe in angels myself and I see no reason why this couldn’t have been a genuine angel from God. However, this angel went on to tell a terrified Branham “I am sent... to tell you that your peculiar life and your misunderstood ways have been to indicate that God has sent you to take a gift of divine healing to the people of the world,” (p. 324). As I am convinced that Branham’s strange and unpleasant spiritual experiences from childhood were occult in nature the fact that this angel said they were of God indicates, in my opinion, that this was a fallen angel sent to deceive Branham. There is in logic to its message here either, as Branham’s earlier spiritual experiences did him nothing but harm and did not lead to his salvation. This would therefore have been another deceptive experience sent to reinforce the previous ones, to buttress Branham’s confidence before propelling him into the lime light.

8 ix) Questions about Branham’s healing gift: Since this angel led Branham into his healing gift as well this must also have been occult in nature. The whole thing appears to me to be a strategy of deception with Branham being prepared for ministry by his earlier spiritual experiences without him finding faith, then receiving a healing gift that helped promote his ministry as a false prophet. Even Liardon, who believes the healings were of God makes the following comments, Branham’s healing gift “was misleading people, causing them to follow Branham’s doctrine,” (p. 343). I believe therefore that Branham had an encounter with a fallen angel and this provided him with a healing gift to elevate him within the body of Christ for use as a false prophet later on. Why would God have raised up someone like Branham in this way, who was so open to deception that he believed the pyramids and signs of the zodiac carried as much spiritual authority as the bible? This doesn’t appear very likely it is surely far more likely that he was being raised up as a healer by the enemy to attract a following.

8 x) This is not straight forward though: During prayer I felt the Lord show me that things concerning Branham and his ministry were not as straight forward as I had expected though. I don’t therefore feel able to say where the line falls in detail. Branham appears to have found faith in Christ in his early twenties and is said to have had a genuine concern for those he prayed for. As God shows no partiality some of Branham’s prayers may therefore have been answered if they were made in faith. Some of the Christians at his meetings may also have trusted in God for healing and received this from the Lord. It is also very likely that Branham may have suffered from some form of mental illness which could have marred his judgement and led to some of his more extreme teachings, false prophecies and beliefs about himself. He did have a break down during ministry and it is possible he never fully recovered from it. Indeed he may have been psychologically disturbed since childhood due to the strange and terrifying spiritual phenomena that occurred around him. I don’t think we are capable of judging whether another person died in the faith or not. However, Branham was so deceived toward the end of his life that even Liardon reports that many saw his death as “an act of mercy on God’s behalf. It is believed that He saved Branham from hell,” (p. 343). Concerning the healings another problem is that we don’t know whether most of them survived the test of time or not. It is very hard to assess the source of them after the event, so many years later. According to the bible, however, signs and wonders, which includes healing, follow the preaching of the gospel. Once he was established in ministry Branham rarely preached, instead he left this to others and came on stage afterwards to move in his healing and other gifts. So instead of promoting the gospel Branham’s healings promoted his false prophecies. We need to be careful about judging Branham though. Most people, if subject to such a concerted effort of deception by the devil would believe they were being raised up by God. It may well have been in the devils interests for Branham to actually have found a form of faith in God too as this would have made him that much more believable. We cannot judge but we also know that Satan can sow people into the body of Christ as tare’s. I haven’t found any evidence that Branham was a con man though, he was probably well intentioned. However, for a whole variety of reasons I believe that Branham’s main spiritual experiences, his gifting and most of his healing power were demonic in origin and came from a fallen angelic source. Branham’s legacy is one of sowing deception and this is bad fruit.

8 xi) Relying on angels instead of God: Another unusual thing about Branham’s ministry was that he was unable to do anything spiritual, including moving in his gift of healing, without the presence of “his angel” by his side. The other healing ministries of that era, and all the Christians in the New Testament times, trusted directly in Gods Holy Spirit to be able to move in the spiritual gifts, not in angels. This practice is being resurrected by people like Rick Joyner and Todd Bentley today and can open someone to the power of fallen angels. I believe that this is yet another indication that Branham was moving in occult power to heal most of the time.

8 xii) Two other strange gifts that accompanied Branham’s healing ministry: The same (fallen) angel that birthed Branham healing ministry also told him that “he would receive two gifts as signs to vindicate his ministry. First Branham would be able to detect diseases by a physical vibration in his left hand... Some have... labelled it demonic... Gordon Lindsey witnessed this supernatural phenomenon. He said that the “electric, like current” was so strong at times, it would instantly stop Branham’s wristwatch.” This, however, is nothing like the gift of discernment of spirits described in 1 Cor 12; 10 but is instead very similar to the type of manifestation those moving in witchcraft experience. Branham could also supposedly discern and cast out spirits after which “Branham’s red and swollen hand would return to normal,” (p. 325). There are no examples of people’s hands swelling like this as a sign to cast out spirits according to the bible. Both signs/gifts are very sensational, though, and probably enhanced Branham’s popularity amongst those willing to receive him. All these gifts came from the (fallen) angel that claimed that Branham’s occult spiritual experiences in childhood were of God. This casts further doubt on Branham’s healing gift being from God as it came from the same experience of this angel, (fallen angel).

8 xiii) Counterfeit words of knowledge: During the same experience of a (fallen) angel and still lacking in confidence “Branham responded to the angel, “Sir, I’m afraid they won’t receive me. The angel responded: “then it will come to pass that you’ll know the very secret of their heart. This they will hear... Any sin in a person life that was under the blood was never revealed. But if the sin was unconfessed or covered, it would be brought to light through this spiritual gift, the word of knowledge” (p. 325). This, however, is not how other Christians gift of the word of knowledge operates and is not the gift described in the bible. Instead this promotes a false teaching that William. J. Seymour was ensnared by at Azusa St. In his earnestness Seymour used to constantly analyse himself and repent of every little sin he accidentally committed during the day in the fear that he would not be forgiven otherwise and would, therefore, be cast into hell. Seymour’s ministry never recovered from this error as his church left him and followed the leader who exposed this who had taken his meetings whilst he was away. Almost all of Seymour’s congregation left and continued the revival without him at another church across the road. Nowhere is Branham’s practice of using words of knowledge to expose sins that are not covered by Jesus death taught in scripture. It is, of course, totally impractical and impossible to repent of every sin during the day in order for it to be covered. As Christians we operate so much of the time in the flesh that we are not even aware of most of our sins or sinful attitudes let alone able to repent of every single one of them in order for them to be forgiven in this way. As we can only enter heaven if we have been completely forgiven of every sin those that adhere to this teaching can never really believe they are fully forgiven by Christ or ready for the afterlife. Branham had a habit of receiving most of the deceptive teachings that came across his path so it would not be surprising if he received this one as well. As a result Branham must have confused the faith of thousands of the people as he ministered to then in this way, as he claimed their sins were not covered by Jesus death. Occult spirits of divination will know what sins, small or great, deliberate or accidental, a person has committed and could easily pass such information onto someone psychically gifted in this way, as Branham appears to have been. Branham was clearly moving in a counterfeit form of “word of knowledge.” Once again this is evidence that the devil was providing Branham with occult gifting’s in order to promote his ministry and help raises him up as a false teacher and false prophet.

8 xiv) Multiple healings took place but by what power? Many healings appear to have taken place in Branham’s meetings but by what power? There have been recent cases of witchdoctors, or others open to the occult in Africa, becoming Christian’s, (or considering themselves to be Christians, it is sometimes hard to tell), continuing to move in witchcraft power, in error, instead of the Holy Spirit. John Obiri Yeboah, a Catholic priest turned prophet, who came across from Ghana and wreaked havoc in Uganda up until his death in 1987, is one such example. At the time many in Uganda’s young Pentecostal Movement assumed that Yeboah was moving in the power of the Holy Spirit. This was despite Yeboah’s false teachings, witchcraft practices and habit of cursing other Christians, particularly those that wouldn’t accept his ministry. Whether it was true or not he was reputed to be moving in more healing power than the other Christian healing ministries at that time. However, most Christians today, in both Africa and the western world, now recognise that Yeboah had moved in a powerful occult anointing. This power was capable of healing people just as many of the traditional witchdoctors could. Yeboah’s fruit and legacy today are several false ministries, who see themselves as his disciples, moving in the same witchcraft spirit and causing considerable harm in Uganda’s church today, including the use of black magic to curse other Christian leaders. They also promote many other forms of witchcraft, used by traditional witchdoctors, to heal and financially bless people. Thankfully these false healing ministries are gradually being exposed and loosing followers and influence in Uganda. It appears that something similar took place in the life of William Branham who has also left behind him a host of false teachings and occult spiritual practices as his fruit. He was also raised up not long after the rapid expansion of Pentecostalism in the western world and has sown deception and confusion into this in very much the same way as Yeboah did later on in Uganda.

8 xv) The Halo picture: The following is further evidence that spiritual influences from the enemy were attempting to exalt Branham within the church. A well known photographic picture was taken of Branham along with several of the other well known healing ministries of that day. When this was printed it showed a halo over Branham’s head but not over any of the others. Halos are typically used in paintings to denote saints, and the bible tells us that all believers are saints. This manifestation was therefore making quite a derogatory comment about those other Christian healing ministries, most of whom were far more bible based than Branham’s ever was, whilst at the same time exalting Branham. The bible tells us that God shows no partiality so even if Branham had been more routed into the truth than he was I don’t believe God would have singled him out in public like this at the expense of the other healing ministries. There had to, therefore, be some form of occult interference with that picture, (unless it was doctored by one of Branham’s followers, without him realising this himself). Either way the enemy was at work using this to promote Branham as superior to all the other major healing revivalists of his day.

8 xvi) Branham exalted over a man who was humiliated before him: Another example of Branham being exalted occurred during one of his meetings. Someone challenged Branham as they made their way from the audience to the front platform where Branham was ministering, claiming loudly that Branham was “deceiving the people...an imposter, a snake in the grass, a fake.” Branham then said quietly, “Satan because you have challenged the servant of God before this great congregation, you must now bow before me.... you shall fall at my feet,” (p. 311). The man then “gave an awful groan and slumped to the floor sobbing hysterically... the man lay there writhing in the dust,” (p. 311). Now once again this brought glory to Branham rather than the Lord and the other man was tormented and humiliated before him in front of that large crowd. Notice that Branham claimed that it was because he, not the Lord, was challenged that this happened, and that the man must bow before him, Branham. I don’t know of this happening to any other person who interrupted a meeting, God may have arrested their movements but not humiliated and tortured them like this. This reflects so badly on the nature of the spirit causing this. It is also more than likely that this man was a Christian believer, (although clearly moving in self effort). What unbeliever would challenge a Christian in this particular way? I expect that the man was probably a cessationist Christian who didn’t believe in the gifts or healing, who knew Branham was spreading false teachings that contradicted scripture and assumed these healings must therefore be con tricks. He can’t have realised that Branham had a powerful occult anointing to heal. Even if he wasn’t a Christian there was good cause for him to claim that Branham was a deceiver because Branham was in fact moving in extreme false prophecy and false teaching. Why would the Lord honour Branham when he was the cause of so much deception? I believe that this was yet another example of Satan exalting Branham in the eyes of the people in order to help promote his ministry as a false prophet. The power no doubt came from the fallen angel that was always present at Branham’s side whenever he ministered.

8 xvii) Branham’s healing gift promoted his ministry as a false teacher and false prophet: Branham emerged as the leading figure within the “Latter Day Rain Movement” from within which many false teachings infiltrated Pentecostalism and then charismatic Christianity later on. The Kansas City prophets drew many of their errors from Branham and this previous Movement. The most notably false teaching is perhaps is the “Manifest Sons Of God” doctrine which is where Joyner draws his belief that an elite group of prophet judges will emerge to rule the church, bind up Satan themselves and govern the world without any need for the Second Coming or physical return of Jesus Christ to earth. Some of Branham’s worst false prophecies concerned himself and his being a Messianic type figure, the angel/Messenger to the last Days Laodicean church, (visit the website which reveals some of these teachings). These resulted in Branham acquiring a cult like following who refuse to see him as human today and expect his imminent return. Rick Joyner expects deceased saints to return to earth as the great white eagles in our day. It appears that Joyner believes that these will be the healing revivalists of the last century. Because Joyner calls us back to Branham’s ministry in particular he must surely believe that Branham will be the leading white eagle. Joyner is therefore a “Branhamite” himself. As Liardon reports Branham was responsible for “doctrinal confusion,” (p. 343). It was the power displayed in his healing ministry that seems to have impressed people in his day and given him the platform from which to operate as a false prophet. That same power appears to be what attracts people like Joyner today and has led to them responding to Branhams teachings even though it is obvious that Branham went astray into deception. Joyner claims that one of the first things that the Lord told him when he was saved was to find and help “the Messengers.”* Joyner would have been well aware that this was a term that referred to the “Branhamite’s,” the followers of Branham’s teachings, because Joyner had listened received from Branham’s ministry when he was a child. This is just one example of how Branham’s ministry can send “Christians” astray. Since Branham taught that the pyramids and signs of the zodiac carry as much spiritual authority as the bible his followers must be open to the occult although they may not realise that this is what it is. They will also be open to the same New Age spiritual practices as Branham such as relying on angels, (really fallen angels), instead of God to move in the supernatural. Branham also emphasised seeking after new mystical knowledge through visionary experiences which we have seen reflected in Joyner’s and the other Kansas City prophet type’s ministries since the 1980’s. Other examples of the deceptions passed on by Branham include “the destruction of the United States would begin in 1977,” (p. 340), “that animals were a higher rank of species than women”,” (p.339), “he often changed his salvation doctrine,” (p. 341), and sometimes taught that “Trinitarians weren’t born again,” (p. 341). As mentioned even Liardon reports that Branham was so deceived by the end of his life that even those who previously trusted him thought his death “was an act of mercy on Gods behalf. It is believed that He saved Branham from hell,” (p. 343). I find it amazing how much false teaching people were willing to overlook because Branham had power. I disagree with Liardon’s view that Branham was a reliable healing minister who went off the rails towards the end of his life. All the evidence suggest to me that he was having occult spiritual experiences before he was a Christian, that these continued into his “Christian” ministry and that even his healing gift appears to have come from an occult source. The fruit of this appears to have become more evident later on towards the end of Branham’s life once he became confident enough to teach his beliefs more openly. Joyner’s claim that he saw Branham exalted on a throne in heaven is clearly based on a deceptive spiritual experience as is his call for us to return to the ministry and message of Branham. Nothing could be more dangerous than drawing from Branham’s ministry as we head into the end times season.

*Taken from the featured video on Joyner’s Morning Star website dated Oct 2012.

Return to Index
Summary of Chapter 9

Word Connect .org footer graphic
Home page View all Articles and Words Contact Us