Bro. William Branham told of having a series of seven vision of the future in 1933. He related these visions on multiple occasions, and on tape. Critics have attacked the visions on multiple points to try and discredit them. Here we will look over their primary attacks.
Did Bro. Branham make up the visions during the 1950s?
BeleiveTheSign’s most convincing argument against the prophecies are that there is no recorded mention of the prophecies on tape until about twenty years after they were supposed to have happened. This is a true fact, the first reference on tape to the visions, by Bro. Branham, occurred in the 1950s.
This, however, is not evidence that the visions are a hoax. On one tape, Bro. Branham produces witnesses who confirmed they had heard Bro. Branham communicate the visions in the 1930s.
Only twelve of Bro. Branham’s pre-1950 sermons were recorded on tape. So while it sounds shocking to hear there is no recording prior to the 1950s, in fact it is actually because there were almost no recordings in general made before 1950!
Did Bro. Branham change the visions over time?
In one telling of the of the visions, Bro. Branham reported that he would have his associates “update” the prophecies. Critics use this statement to allege Bro. Branham was modifying the visions over time. What he in fact meant, was that they were updating the document to track the fulfillment of the visions. As they would come to pass, they would record down the events Bro. Branham believed were the fulfillment of the visions.
The critics know this is what he meant, but the fact that they offer no such explanation is evidence of the dishonest manner in which they are attempting to portray issues like this.
The critics also allege that what Bro. Branham claimed as the fulfillment of the visions were in fact modifications of the vision. We want to examine each one briefly.
Roosevelt would lead America into the Second World War
See also: Franklin Roosevelt Prophecy
At one point Bro. Branham said “Hitler”, rather than “Roosevelt” would lead America into a second world war. The critics seize on this in an attempt to distract the reader from the reality that Bro. Branham predicted the second world war in 1933, six years before it began, and also who would be president when it occurred. Bro. Branham clearly viewed the emphasis of the vision to be on the war, and whether he said Roosevelt or Hitler, both are accurate in the context of his statements. It is true he said Roosevelt in all but one telling of the visions. Could it be that just once, of his multiple times telling the visions, he misspoke and said Hitler?
Mussolini would invade Ethiopia
The critics make no assertion that Bro. Branham modified this prophecy. Their only criticism is that they claim Ethiopia was called Abyssinia in 1933, and that is evidence the vision was made up was made after the fact. This claim is quite misleading though. While the country of Abyssinia did indeed change it’s name to Ethiopia after 1933, the word Ethiopia was in common use in the English language for hundreds of years. It referred not to a particular country, but to a region in Africa. That region is in fact larger than the modern country of Ethiopia, and includes most of what is today Somalia and Eritrea (which Mussolini also invaded), and Sudan and Djibouti.
The United States would fight a great battle at the Siegfried Line
In one vision, Bro. Branham saw that in a war, the United States would suffer many casualties at the Siegfried Line. In one of the many times he retold the vision, Bro. Branham misspoke and said the Maginot Line, which was a much more famous defensive line. Critics use this to allege this is evidence the vision was a fraud, and Bro. Branham was talking about two different places.
However, the Siegfried line and the Maginot line are adjacent to each other! Along most of the line, they were only about five miles apart…
The United States fought the Battle of Bulge along both the Maginot and Siegfried lines in what was the deadliest battle of the war. The United States suffered 90,000 casualties in the battle. It remains the costliest battle ever fought by the United States. It is also noteworthy that the magnitude of the battle and its loses were not fully disclosed to the public until the 1960s, well after these recordings were on tape.
Cars would be shaped like eggs
Critics have two primary allegations against this vision. First they say Bro. Branham may have already seen cars like this in magazines or at the World Fair in Chicago. This may be true. He may have. But does that mean he did not have a vision about it too? This is no smoking gun evidence of anything. The most we could say is it was not a vision of the future.
Secondly, the critics claim that he later added that the cars would be self driving. But he had claimed from the early telling of the vision that car he saw has the passengers playing a game rather than driving it.
Bro. Branham believed this vision was fulfilled during his lifetime and reported having seen pictures of cars that matched his vision during the 1960s.
The United States would be ruled by a woman
Critics are particularly fierce in their attack of this vision. They claim Bro. Branham radically changed it. However, he was clear from the earliest telling of the vision that he thought the woman could be symbolic of something else. He said the woman was beautiful, but cruel.
After the election of President Kennedy in the 1960s, Bro. Branham came to believe that the woman he saw represented Kennedy’s Catholic faith. Bro Branham also connected the Catholic faith to the beautiful but wicked woman in Revelation chapter 18. In Bro. Branham’s teachings, it was no stretch for him to apply such a symbolic interpretation and this was not viewed by any of his followers as a change to the original vision, but rather it was a fulfillment of the symbolic meaning of the vision.
Along this same train of thought, Bro. Branham also stated that the United States would worship Mary, in reference to the revered place Catholicism placed on Mother Mary.
The critics making these allegations are perfectly aware of this symbolic interpretation employed by Bro. Branham. Yet they fail to present that fact at all. Why? Because their purpose is not to inform their reader of the full picture, but to mislead them by selectively presenting facts.
The United States was a smoldering ruin
His final vision was of the United States in a devastated condition. Of the seven visions, this is the only one he did not believe came to pass during his lifetime. In speaking about this devastation in one sermon, he speculated that food would become contaminated and toxins would settle into valleys. Critics think this final vision is ridiculous. I guess we will all find out one day.
How are these vision treated in broader Christianity?
In Charismatic Christianity, Bro. Branham’s visions are widely accepted. Here is a review of the prophecies from the TBN network. The critics would have their readers believe that only Bro. Branham’s followers believe these visions because they were brainwashed. Yet, we find plenty of evidence that these visions are accepted by people who are not in fellowship with the Branham movement churches.