Branham's Claim to be Elijah.
William Branham had supernatural occurrences from birth, a light which appeared above him as a halo immediately after his birth, and continued to appear at times throughout his life. Supernatural visitations from a “spiritual entity” began at the age of three, and this light accompanied an angel. This light was also seen by congregation and photographed while he was in the pulpit. Various photographs showing this light are still circulated today by his followers who believe this is proof he was God's final prophet for the Church; Elijah, and the 7th angel of the church. They have accepted this light or halo as proof of God's presence and approval. Yet his parents were not followers of God so how could this relate to the prophets of OLD as claimed? And what prophet ever had a light form over them at birth and continue throughout their life? Only in the painted pictures of Jesus do we see such interpretation. From the beginning Genesis tells us that Satan appeared to Eve disguised by a Snake; in the Hebrew he is described as “shining” standing upright.
The only time a light (fire) ever appeared over believer's heads was in the Upper Room, when the Body of Christ was officially formed through the individual indwelling by God, the Holy Spirit. It happened only once and it was because of a Biblical event, the Holy Spirit was sent to begin the church. John the Baptizer was never described as having fire above his head, nor did Elijah, Moses or Isaiah or any of Jesus’ apostles have light or fire follow them through their life. Neither did Jesus have God’s glory seen at his baptism nor during his teachings, but Branham supposedly did. Only one time did Jesus reveal what was inside him at the Mount of Transfiguration, this was done for his closest disciples to grasp who he actually was. Believing that supernatural manifestations are from God without any substantiation by God's Word is to fall prey to a “deception of demons.”
Branham’s miracle ministry really began by a deceptive sign that he continued to point back to. It was at a baptismal service on June 11, 1933, a supernatural event of occurred. A local newspaper account reported the event. On this day, as Brother Branham was baptizing in the Ohio river at the foot of Spring Street in Jeffersonville, a strange Light, like a star, suddenly came whirling down and hung over his head. “I was baptizing down on the river, my first converts, at the Ohio River ... And just then a whirl come from the heavens above, and here come that Light, shining down. ... And it hung right over where I was at. A Voice spoke from there, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent for the forerunner of the first coming of Christ, you’ve got a Message that will bring forth the forerunning of the Second Coming of Christ.”.... He is sending a vindicated prophet. He is sending a prophet after almost two thousand years.”
Branham identifies this light as the angel that was appearing to him from his childhood. “When that Angel, that you see in that picture over there, come down on the river down there that day, thirty years ago come this coming June or thirty-three years ago, rather, this June, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent forth, (before 5,000 people or more) the hour has come when your Message will stray the world” “See, immediately after the coming of THIS Elijah, the earth will be cleansed by hate and the wicked burned to ashes” (THE MESSAGE TO THE LAODICEAN AGE, p.13).
In this event Branham alone heard the words though others heard a sound. Others heard a sound but not the actual voice or the words of the voice. Some say this is exactly what happened when Paul was blinded by Jesus and heard His voice on the Damascus road. Yet with Paul he fell off his horse and was converted “And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one” (Acts 9:7). The fact that this light occurs with Branham from birth consecutively throughout his life makes him more important than even the apostle Paul who was chosen to see the resurrected Jesus in glory and then wrote most of the New Testament.
Branhamites claim God has told us “in Rev. 10: 7 that it is a PROPHET who is going to declare the mysteries of the ages and reveal thereby the Seven Thunders that were sealed up. THEN WE, TOO, MUST HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD THROUGH A PROPHET THAT WILL BE GOD TO US IN THAT CAPACITY.” Branhamites state we must have a prophet (prophet William) to lead us into Bible understanding, into the Promised Land. That this is God's unchanging pattern. God has always spoken to man through man. But this is not true- god spoke directly to many people- Moses and the burning bush, on Mt. Sinai.
The problem with this theory is that these men who God spoke to wrote down the words God gave them that became our Scripture. Today we do not follow men when the Scripture is complete; this is the whole point of Scripture and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to look at the Scripture to see if this is actually said or they are making it say something that is not intended.
God has often spoken directly to man but not just through man. And this argument does not coincide with what the New Testament teaches. The Bible states, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
In other words the apostles wrote the words of Christ down, these are what they heard being taught in their discipleship and what Jesus revealed afterwards (Acts 1:2-3) by the Holy Spirit for the Church. In fact, the apostles themselves tell us to listen to Scripture not to new prophets. Peter “That you be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior” (2 Peter 3:2). Jude “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 17).
Jesus said of the Holy Spirit “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). Notice the Holy Spirit guides us personally as we read the Scripture (all things that I said to you), Jesus did not say he would send a prophet to us that would be absolutely necessary fro learning the Scripture.
John 15:26-27 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” The Spirit speaks of the Son, not of his own.
John 16:13,14 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take what is of Mine and declare it to you.”
Notice the Spirit guides us personally as we read the words of Jesus in the Scripture. Jesus did not say he would send a man or an angel to guide us into ALL truth.
The apostle John who wrote the book of Revelation, states quite clearly in I John 2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”
The Spirit that abides with a believer teaches us ALL things, as we abide.
Jesus, in Matthew 7:15-24, tells how to recognize a false prophet. The fruit that we are to examine is if what he says is what God says in the Bible. Branham may have spoken correctly on some things but he spoke very wrong on others. sometimes distinguishing this is harder than other times. Deuteronomy 13:1-3 and 18:20-22 gives us other criteria for testing a prophet because he can work signs and wonders, but even if he does and then teaches us to follow after strange gods, (one that is unrecognizable) he is to be rejected; he can predict future events, but every one of those predictions must come true, or God has not spoken and the prophet is to be rejected. True prophets do not speculate or give their opinions on future events. Branham fails both the Matthew and Deuteronomy tests.
Even if a prophet speaks correctly on a dream or prophecy we are told by God in Deuteronomy 13:3-5 says “you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” In fact the Bible makes us acutely aware that when we see displays of power we are to more on guard and test more carefully. Again the test is how they conform to Bible doctrine not what power they display.
William Branham said “Not for one moment do I bring a message to the people that they may follow me, or join my church, or start some fellowship and organization. I have never done that and will not do that now. I have no interest in those things, but I do have an interest in the things of God and people, and if I can accomplish just one thing I will be satisfied. That one thing is to see established a true spiritual relationship between God and men, wherein men become new creations in Christ, filled with His Spirit and live according to His Word. I would invite, plead and warn all to hear His voice at this time, and yield your lives completely to Him, even as I trust in my heart that I have given my all to Him” (William Branham - Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages, p. 381)
Really sounds good, then why does he call the church Laodicea and that he is the messenger for that church; is that a good thing? And where are they supposed to go if the ALL the churches are apostate, as Branham taught that denominations are the mark of the Beast. They were to go to him of course.
I am not going to stand in judgment of Branham's sincerity, and it is not enough to just point out his errors in his teaching and even his prophecies that failed. What is the utmost importance, and I believe Branhamites will agree on this, are his claims to be the forerunner of the 2nd coming of Christ. Because if this is not true it does not matter what other miracles or good works he might have done.
Branhamite’s put together a false argument based on Matthew 17:12 it is written... “But I say unto you, that Elijah is come already, and THEY KNEW HIM NOT, but have done unto him whatsoever they desired.....”
They claim-The forerunner of Jesus’ First Coming, had arrived on the scene but THEY KNEW HIM NOT - but the question is, who killed him! Not the Jews, not the followers of Christ, Herod had him killed. So any correlation to Christians of this Age failing to recognize the Messenger-Forerunner of the Second Coming of Christ in Branham is moot.
Branham stated that he is God’s voice to man at this time being the angel of the church. On November 27, 1965, Branham said that the Elijah prophet would be a revealer of the Word and it'll be the revelation of God made known to us BY VINDICATION. His “regular commission” was the “Revealing of the Word - the mysteries contained in the Seven Seals.”
“But in the last days, it will have to be a prophet to take up the mysteries of God, . . . ? . . . because the mysteries would only be known by prophets. So it has to be this fellow coming. Do you see what I mean now? He can’t be a reformer; it has got to be a prophet, because it has got to be somebody that is gifted ; and set there that catches the word” (The Revelation of the Seven Seals p.145).
He also said “the original Bible faith is to be restored by the 7th angel” (The Revelation of the Seven Seals p.147) Which is him.
“ He is a prophet and restores the original faith of the fathers. Now, we are looking for that person to appear on the scene. He will be so humble that ten millions times ten millions will . . . Well, there'll be little group that will understand it” (The Revelation of the Seven Seals p.148)
So according to Branham only those who he taught would understand the Scripture Branham even said, “...you be sure to say just what the tape says! Don't say nothing else, because... I don't say that of my own! It's Him that says it!... According to Mal. 4:5-6, Rev. 10:7.” To hear His voice was then to hear Branham speak. So according to Branham it is God speaking confirming he is the prophet, not himself as a Bible teacher.
We are told that Brother Branham was an Old Testament type prophet (messenger) with the spirit of Elijah. What a spin on something Jesus said cannot be true. Jesus said John was the last of the Old Testament prophets Matt 11 “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” He was speaking about the Old Testament dispensation, under its old covenant. The prophets would prophecy to Israel, among the many things about the coming Messiah.
Once a new covenant was instituted one does not go back to the Old Testament working of prophets to live by them, (Heb.1) we are in a new dispensation under a new covenant. There was no single leader for the early church and there is none for today. This sounds like the Catholic churches government. Instead of the Pope they have Elijah the prophet who is William Branham. I don’t say this to be insulting but to be honest with what is taking place.
By the 1960's, Branham had clearly become convinced that he was the end-times “Elijah” and the true “Messenger of the Covenant” (The Enigma Of William Branham, Andrew Strom).
“Now, we believe that the hour has come that St. John 14:12 must be fulfilled. We believe that MALACHI 4 must be fulfilled. We believe that Luke 17:30 must be fulfilled. We believe that all these prophecies that He said would come to pass in this day, we believe they must be fulfilled. And WE BELIEVE WE'RE SEEING THEM FULFILLED RIGHT NOW. That's exactly right. Stop running; don't get out of His Presence; just move up into His Presence”(A Man Running From The Presence Of The Lord - 02/17/65)
John 14:12 had been going on since the apostolic era. Did any of the others prophecies happen when Branham was alive? No, and it is still 40 years after. Luke 17:30 has to do with the tribulation period. Of course these will be fulfilled but not in the way or in the timing Branham meant.
“When He said before that day comes, that'll burn the earth like an oven and the righteous will walk out upon their ashes...[Malachi 4 - Editor] Oh, brother, we are looking for a Light to come. IT'S HERE. And remember, I'll give you some of his description. WHEN ELIJAH COMES, THAT'S THE MESSENGER TO THE LAODICEAN CHURCH AGE. Remember, Elijah was the one that went up on a chariot, never tasted death. And the message of this great messenger that'll come in this closing day in the Laodicean church Age, the Pentecostal Age, will be the one that'll take the church to the rapture. (The Messiah - 1/17/61)
Well if he’s the messenger and we are still here that poses a problem doesn't it. The Bible never says for the church to look for a prophet, not even Elijah, but to look for Jesus. Titus 2:13-14 “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Elijah is for Israel not for the church…
“Trying to keep you from seeing the real meaning of the Word, ...See, he's [Satan] interpreting it, saying it means this. God said, “I promised in the last days I'd send you MALACHI 4.” IT DON'T HAVE TO BE INTERPRETED; HE DID IT. He said, “And as it was in the days of Lot, the world will be in a Sodom condition; and that time I will reveal the Son of man by it exactly.” WE GOT all kinds of IMPERSONATIONS and everything else of it, but WE GOT THE REAL ONE TOO.” (God of This Evil Age - 08/01/65m)
“Friends, THIS IS THE FULFILLMENT OF MALACHI 4, St. Luke 17, St. John 15, Revelations 10, so many prophecies that can be pinned exactly to this day” (Events made Clear By Prophecy - 08/01/65e)
Over and over Branham pinpointed it would be him, his day that the fulfillment would be so. If we look at how Jesus stated a fulfillment there is a clear difference. For example he said when reading Isa.61 in Luke 4:17-21 “Today, this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing this,” and it was.
Branham's followers identify him as the prophet Elijah of Malachi 4 and the seventh angel of Revelation 10. “The Word of the Lord has promised that He would send to the earth once again the spirit of Elijah in the form of that End Time Messenger who was the Angel to the Seventh Church Age in these final closing days of our time. We believe firmly that this promise was fulfilled in... William Marrion Branham.” (The Revelation of the Seven Seals, Introduction, p. 19)
‘He was Elijah the prophet, the seventh angelic messenger to the Laodicean Church Age (Footprints on the Sands of Time, p. 620).
Speaking of himself, Branham said, “...we are promised a return of that Spirit [Elijah] just before the end-time. He won't start another church, because there is no more church ages to come... because the Laodicea Church Age is the last age, and the messenger of the Seventh Angel,... is the fellow that is going to reveal, by the Holy Spirit, all of these mysterious things.... Notice. This last message of the last church age is not a reformer, he is a PROPHET!” (The Seven Seals, pp. 144, 45).
He was right, Laodicea is the last, but he was wrong that he was the messenger of it and it never says Elijah is the messenger to the church; Elijah is the messenger to Israel. And it does not say the spirit of Elijah would come but Elijah himself. This is very important for the correct interpretation. Whether one believes the angels of the church are really angels or human messengers, it does not matter on this point.
The 7th Angel
First lets look at the 7th angel and see if this could be Branham as claimed.
Rev 10:1: “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven” From this we see the others came from heaven and so did this 7th angel, is this Branham? In context this angel is descending from heaven.
Rev. 10:7-11 “but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets. Then the voice which I heard from heaven spoke to me again and said, “Go, take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the earth.” And I went to the angel and said to him, “Give me the little book.” And he said to me, “Take and eat it; and it will make your stomach bitter, but it will be as sweet as honey in your mouth.” Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. And he said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”
It doesn’t say the 7th angel is given the message to speak to mankind. It says the mystery that was spoken to the prophets would be complete. It is John the apostle who is given the little book and is to prophesy again. Nowhere does it say it is a man who does this after John. It is John who takes the book out of this angel’s hand and eats it and begins to prophesy again. John tells us what the prophets prophesied as he gives us more revelation on Jacob's trouble.
“Rev 10:7 prophets of the Old Testament, though the language would include all who at any time had uttered any predictions respecting the final condition of the world. These prophecies had been scattered along through many ages; but the angel says that at that time all that had been said respecting the setting up of the kingdom of God, the reign of the saints, and the dominion of the Redeemer on the earth, would be accomplished” (Barnes' Notes.)
This seventh angel is in direct commune with God and he comes down from heaven. This is not the same angel who is of the church of Laodicea who is never called the 7th angel. Branham claimed to both the angel of the church of the Laodicea and the 7th angel.
Branham believed that the Lord gave him the interpretations of the seals and he was that 7th angel.
According to Branham, Wesley was the 6th angel - Rev 9:14-15: “saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.”
If the 6th angel is a man why aren’t the other four angels who kill a third of mankind men. How could the 6th angel be Wesley since this event has not occurred, the 4 angels would have already killed a third of mankind. Of course this is wrong since Revelation's sequence of events is rapid within a span of several years not across hundreds of years. One still has to wait to be in the tribulation period for this to even occur.
Rev. 15:6-7 “And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.
Notice the Scripture states the seven angels are together in heaven and one of the creatures gives them all the bowls to be poured out.
Is Branham the 7th angel? It is in sequence that we read in the next chapter: “And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” (Rev. 16:17)
Notice this 7th angel is present at Armageddon which has not occurred, is this Branham? This angel pours out judgment under God’s instructions from HEAVEN. Is this Branham? One may take the position that Branham is in heaven doing this, but it is ludicrous to say it is him.
Have we already passed through the worst time period in history? Are we in the Tribulation? Has the 6th trumpet and terrible woes come upon the earth in judgment. If one reads all the Scripture relating to this time period they can only come to the conclusion we have not experienced it. Remember Jesus said of the tribulation it would be the time of Jacob’s troubles unlike any other time. All this makes Branham hardly an accurate prophet!
John the Baptizer and Elijah the prophet
Both are Elijah and John the Baptist are forerunners, John the Baptist came in the first coming. Elijah was promised to come for the second coming, not the first. Mal.3:1 promised an unnamed forerunner that we now know was John the Baptist. The unnamed forerunner is for the first coming not the second. In Mal.3:1: “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi speaks of this messenger, one that will prepare the way for the Lord, this is none other than John the Baptizer who is foretold in Isa.40:3-4 as “The voice crying out in the wilderness: prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
How do we know this? John says “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord, as said Isaiah the prophet (Jn.1:23). Jesus states in Matthew 11:10-15 “For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.’ “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
If we go back to what the angel Gabriel said to his father, Zacharias: he (John) would come “in the spirit and power” of Elijah. “And he shall go before Him in the Spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the Just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:17).
John knew who he was. And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” (John 1:21) John never claimed to be Elijah. The Elijah type ministry was found in John the Baptist but coming in this same ministry and function did not make John literally Elijah the prophet. It is clear what is mean is that John was not Elijah himself but had some similarities.
John was called in the same spirit or ministry, (to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children) but there is still a literal appearance of the same Elijah who did not see death and went to heaven (2 Kings 2:1,11). Sometimes we need hear what the Spirit of the text is saying. Elijah was promised to come for the second coming not the first; therefore he is not John the Baptist. And John the Baptist is not Elijah. Elijah did not die, so the Scripture is not talking about his reincarnation as John the Baptist nor of William Branham.
Elijah was promised to come for the second coming of Christ and he is NOT an unnamed person as John was, but Elijah, just as the Scripture states. In Mal. 4:5-6 he is named “ Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
How long did the people have to wait for the Messiah to be revealed after John’s preaching? Not long. So why is it 40 years after this so called Elijah is in William Branham the church still waits? Yes, we should hear what the Spirit is speaking.
If Branham was Elijah as claimed we have some very big problems that need to be overcome besides the ones already mentioned. For one he was not Jewish nor was he brought up in a Jewish home. He was not even brought up in believing home, John was. Elijah is sent to the Jews, that would be in Israel not America. This is especially important if one were to take the position that Elijah is one of the two end time prophets of Rev.11.
The first verse in Malachi reads “The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi.” This book of the Bible wasn't even written for the Gentiles. It was a letter to Israel. The Gentiles are mentioned in chapter one verse 11, but God isn't talking to the Gentiles, He is talking about them. “For the rising of the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles...” The coming of Elijah in Malachi 4:5-6 is to Israel not the church.
Branham was not called Elijah except implied by this spirit as a sign at the baptism. The Bible does not tell us he will be called by another name, least of all William. Elijah is a Jew -- William Branham was a gentile. How does that work?
In Luke 4:18 when Jesus stood up in the temple and quoted Isa.61:1-2 and did not read of the day of vengeance of our God. This is reserved for the tribulation period in which Elijah will preach before the day of the Lord! Which makes it clear that Branham could not be Elijah -the Day of Vengeance is still in the future. Branham said “see, immediately after the coming of THIS Elijah, the earth will be cleansed by hate and the wicked burned to ashes.” Its 40 years after which seems to eliminate the time element of immediately. Branahm said, “Of course, this did NOT happen at the time of John (the Elijah for his day.)….” (The Message To The Laodicean Age). It did not happen for Branham either!
Branham believed himself to be THIS Elijah, yet the earth was not cleansed nor the wicked burned. Remember he said immediately after his coming (since he claimed to be Elijah). We are still waiting, except the problem is, if Branham is Elijah, he is gone. So the Scripture cannot be fulfilled as it is written. And it is certainly not fulfilled he way Branham explained it. “Now, you see, I'm just not making that up. That's what- it's THUS SAITH THE LORD. I read it to you out of the Book: ,the sounding of the Seventh Angel's Message, the mystery of God should be finished that's been declared by His holy prophets. (That's the prophets who have wrote the Word.) At the sounding of the Seventh Church Age, the last church age, all the loose ends that through these church ages have been probed at, will be wound up together. And when the Seals are broken and the mystery is revealed, down comes the Angel, the Messenger, Christ, setting His foot upon the land and upon the sea with a rainbow over His head. Now remember this Seventh angel is on the earth at the time of this coming” (The Revelation of the Seven Seals p.74).
Remember, Branham claimed to be the seventh angel and he also stated he broke the seals. This is proof that Branham was NOT the 7th angel, nor Elijah as he thought. Because he himself stated this angel is on the earth at Jesus’ coming when the seals are broken. Branham is not here. But watch for the spin from the Branhamites saying there is another appearance (or even an eighth angel?)
“Brother Branham taught the “spirit of Elijah” was to be used only 5 times, the fourth was the Laodicean messenger and the fifth was one of the two witnesses to the Jewish 144,000. A return ministry seems to suggest we add another appearance between the fourth and fifth “use of Elijah‘s spirit”. This would make 6 times the Spirit of Elijah appears. (TRIAL.THE TAMPA.FL V-12 N-2 64-0419)
“Now, don't confuse, 'fore we get away from this, don't confuse Elijah’s fifth time ministry with his fourth time ministry. I've been telling you, the Gentile Church is looking for Elijah. That's right. And here he is over here with the Jew. Remember, he can't come four. That's--that's the--the enemies number. It have to be five.
The first time he come, he was Elijah himself. The next time he come, he was Elisha. The next time he come, he was what? John the Baptist. The next time he comes is for the seventh angel. And the fifth time he comes, he's with Moses over yonder...?... Yes, sir. Don't confuse him.
Five, if you know your--your numerals of the Bible, five is the number of laboring grace; that's what He's done. Now, watch, you want to know what it is. Was Jesus a labor of grace? J-e-s-u-s--five; l-a-b-o-r (Is that right?)--labor for--for love for you. And if you get to Him, how you come? By what? F-a-i-t-h, in l-a-b-o-r. Is that right. Labor is the number of grace.
All right, to the believers... Notice, the first Elijah, that was him. The second was Elisha. The third was John. The fourth was the seventh angel or the last messenger to the church, according to Malachi 4 and Revelations 10:7. Now, the fifth time, he is a messenger to the Jews, to the hundred and forty-four thousand, to the Jews after the Church is gone. (THE FIFTH.SEAL. JEFF.IN 63-0322)
Branham says not to confuse this but that’s exactly what he is doing. He takes the names of people and counts the letters to make them numerical--talk about making the simple teaching convoluted to prove his point. The Bible uses Elijah as a spiritual function for John but never says there will be a repeat like this; As Branham repeats it will happen and then happen again.
This is why John came in the spirit and power of Elijah not in Elijah’s spirit. There is a difference.
To say Branham is literally Elijah or have his same spirit would be to teach reincarnation. Then we have Elijah as a spirit coming back to earth born to unbelieving parents in Kentucky. This is not tenable position. First of all Elijah left in both body and spirit and will return as the same person who left. As Jesus left, the angels said he would return as the same person and the same way (Acts 1:11). This why John came in the spirit of Elijah not in Elijah’s spirit.
Another problem, Branham died. And if he were to come it was just before the day of the Lord which is the tribulation. That has not happened either and it’s been over 40 years. None of this makes sense when related to the Bible. This is why Branhamites will divorce people from the Bible and its sequence of events and say they need a prophet to understand it and so they follow their prophet’s (false) interpretation. Not unlike so many other groups who have mediator for their followers besides the Holy Spirit whom Christ sent.
THE Prophets Prophecy
To the Branhamites they believe Branham a “man sent from God.” Just as Joseph Smith was sent by God according to the Mormons etc.. They can’t objectively look at what he actually said but spiritualize it so it can be conformed to what they want it to mean. This way no fault can be found. Lets take a more careful look at what Branham said.
Branham--”So I repeat, I sincerely believe and maintain as a private student of the Word, along with Divine inspiration that 1977 ought to terminate the world systems and usher in the millennium (Ages, p. 322).
And, remember, I predict that before the great total annihilation, which I don't say the Lord told me this, but I believe there'll be something happen either between now or at that time in '77. It may come...?... at this hour. But between now and '77, I predict that either a great destruction or a total annihilation of the entire earth, between now and '77; I predicted it in 1933 ( TEACHING. ON.MOSES JEFF.IN V-14 N-4 SUNDAY 56-0513)
“That this age will, end around 1977. I base this prediction on seven major continuous visions that came to me one Sunday morning in June, 1933. The Lord Jesus spoke to me and said that the coming of the Lord was drawing nigh, but that before He came, seven major events would transpire.” (The Message To The Laodicean Age).
So Branham based his prediction on visions he received. Yet he said “I never preached anything in my life under inspiration I had to take back, ‘cause I don’t depend on my own understanding” (Oneness, 2/11/62, V-10, N-2, sermon page 16-87).
Well are these statements inspiration?
This may take some time contemplating and I hope this simple conclusion can be understood. One must question his being wrong on this date (1977). If it was uninspired and he tells us it was based on the 7 visions that were supposed to be inspired, how can it be wrong?
“And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”(Rev.22:19)
The question we need to ask is: did Branham add to the book by claiming to be several of the people the book spoke of? The 7th angel, the angel of the church of Laodicea, and Elijah the prophet, all of whom are different persons. Yet in his book The Revelation of the Seven Seals on p.235 Branham he says the 7th angel is Christ. Where’s the consistency. Test it.
Furthermore Branham claimed that this angel who visited him (the light) was the angel of the Lord, who is Jesus! I'm convinced that It's the Angel of the Lord “I'm convinced that that very Spirit that you feel, the Holy Spirit that is moving in us, I'm convinced that that's Christ. Amen! I'm convinced that, right now, that This is what I'm looking at, this Circle of Light before me, I'm convinced that's the Holy Spirit! (“CONVINCED THAN CONCERNED”, preached June 10, 1962)
Is the Holy Spirit an angel? Is Jesus an angel after he became a man? Is Jesus the Holy Spirit? Which is it that are we to believe from a man that was soo confused.
“When that Angel, that you see in that picture over there, come down on the river down there that day, thirty years ago come this coming June or thirty-three years ago, rather, this June, and said, “As John the Baptist was sent forth, (before 5,000 people or more) “the hour has come when your Message will stray the world (The Revelation of the Seven Seals p.51)
Did he say stray? Yes he did. I looked it up. Think about it.