A Biographer Answers Critics of William Branham

My name is Owen Jorgensen. Some of you may know me as the author of Supernatural: The Life of William Branham.  It took me twenty-five years to research and write that biography, so you know I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Brother Branham’s life. Here are some thoughts that might be helpful to those who might be questioning his ministry.

Brian Tracy, a famous motivational speaker, says of human nature: “Your beliefs act as a set of filters that screen out information that is inconsistent with them. You do not necessarily believe what you see, but rather you see what you already believe. You reject information that contradicts what you have already decided to believe, whether or not your beliefs, your prejudices, are based on fact or fantasy.”

I agree. It takes effort to be honest and objective. The easy path for people is to filter out any facts that contradict their theories and then they will always feel they are right.  I think this is one reason people reject the Message of the Hour.

One could go many directions with explaining William Branham’s extraordinary life, including how he fits into dozens of scriptures.  But here I would like to present one very basic idea.  Nicodemus said to Jesus, “We know you are a teacher sent from God because no man could do these things unless God was with him.” If that was true for Jesus, why wouldn’t it be true for someone else who did similar miracles in Jesus’ name?

Consider for a moment William Branham’s miraculous gift of discernment. I will pick one particular case for this example because it happened to Minnie Peterson, who is a personal friend of mine. She was a stranger to Brother Branham when she stood before him in a prayer line in 1955. He told her seven things… (1) You are standing here for someone else; (2) It’s your half-sister (3) who is ill with rheumatic fever;  (4) And your daughter is sick (5) with a fever; (6) And your son is sick; (7) And your teeth need healing. (You can hear what Brother Branham said to Minnie on the sermon “Doctor Moses” 55-0114, E-55; atwww.Branham.org)

Minnie Peterson told me that every one of those things was true. “But wait,” the critic might say, “Branham was wrong when he started off by saying ‘you are standing here for someone else,’ because she wanted prayer for her own teeth.” No, his discernment was correct. Minnie told me that her teeth had been hurting her earlier in the week, and she had prayed about it earlier in the week… but when she stood in the prayer line, she wasn’t thinking about her teeth because she was so worried about her nine-year-old half-sister, who had suddenly become paralyzed with a high fever.

That’s my first point… the critics don’t know all the facts. No one knows all the facts. Some of the critics in Jesus’ day said he couldn’t be the Messiah because he came from Nazareth, and the Scripture said the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. They made their judgment based on incomplete information.

But my second point is stronger. What are the odds of a man telling a stranger seven facts about her, and that man being correct on all seven? The statistical odds are so astronomical as to be practically zero.  Brother Branham had never seen Minnie before, or heard of her. How did he know she had a sister, let alone a half-sister? How did he know she had children? And how did he know she had prayed about her teeth earlier that week? But this did happen. He knew.

This, then, is the first important question a skeptic should ask about William Branham’s unusual ministry—how did he do it? How did he know those 7 facts about Minnie Peterson’s life? This is a serious question that calls for an honest query. What possible explanations could there be for such a fantastic thing to happen? Here are the choices as I see them…

Theory#1:   He made a lucky guess.

My response:  Once or twice, maybe, but he displayed this accurate discernment tens of thousands of times. So, the ‘lucky guess’ theory is statistically impossible.

Theory #2:  He could read minds.

My response: Scientists have done many double-blind experiments trying to find out if there is such a thing as extra-sensory perception,  and all such experiments have failed to prove ESP exists. Exactly how would mind reading work anyway—I mean, what would be the science behind it? No, Brother Branham couldn’t read minds. No one can.

Theory #3:  It was all a scam. He planted people.

My response:  Over 17 years Brother Branham prayed for upward to 100,000 people personally all around the world; and in all that time no one ever came forward and said they were paid to lie, or anything like that. No, it was not a scam. He discerned people with prayer cards; he discerned people without prayer cards. Many times he would tell strangers their names and addresses. He had a number of different campaign managers over the years. None of them cried foul. There were no tricks involved. Remember that in the 1950’s microphones were the size of hotdogs and the smallest speakers were the size of baseballs. You couldn’t hide a speaker in your ear like you can today. As far as I can tell, that rules out the natural possibilities, leaving us with only supernatural theories to consider.

Theory #4:  Perhaps he got his discernment directly from Satan.

My response:   Brother Branham used his gift of discernment to raise the faith of people high enough to accept Jesus Christ as their healer. He gave all the credit to Jesus Christ. This is not something Satan would sanction. When Jesus was on earth, the demons that he came near cried out, asking him to leave them alone. There is no example in the Bible of a demon-inspired person using a gift of  discernment in conjunction with divine healing. None.  In contrast, Jesus definitely had the gift of discernment and the gift of divine healing. Therefore it would be an error to attribute Brother Branham’s gift to Satanic forces, when there is no Bible references to support such a claim.

Theory #5:  Brother Branham was one of the false prophets Jesus warned us against in Matthew 24:24… “beware of false prophets who will do great signs and wonders and will deceive many.”

My Response:   What Jesus said is true… beware, because false prophets are out there and they are busy deceiving. But notice, Jesus didn’t tell us what those great signs and wonders would be. Why would those “signs and wonders” be “discernment and healing”—which are the same things Jesus did when he walked the earth? Why would “discernment and healing” be good 2000 years ago, but bad now? It wouldn’t, of course. Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus Christ is same today as he was yesterday. So Brother Branham does not fit the false prophets of Matthew 24:24. Besides, if you read on to verse 27, it takes you right into the prophecy of the “coming of the Son of Man,” which is Jesus in his prophetic form, coming in the end time as openly visible as lightning. William Branham’s ministry was open to the world—and still is.

Nevertheless, some Christians say it was his doctrine that made him a false prophet. I suppose by this they mean his doctrine came from Satan.

My response:  What did William Branham teach that would harm someone’s soul?  Answer: Nothing he taught would hurt anyone. He taught that people should repent and get baptized in Jesus name, and then God would give them the Holy Spirit, which is eternal life. (Hmm… that’s the same thing Peter preached in Acts 2:38.) Brother Branham taught that we should love one another; and forgive each other; and do good things for everyone we can. (Are there any complaints about that?) Yes, he said some things that offended some people. So did Elijah, and Elisha, and John the Baptist; and so did Jesus, for that matter. Brother Branham is in good company there.

“Wait a minute,” the critic says. “William Branham taught against the Holy Trinity. That right there is enough to make him a false prophet.”

My response:  That’s not exactly true. Brother Branham believed in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, but not as “one god in three persons” the way it is so often taught. (Look, even those people who believe the “one god in three persons” doctrine, even they admit that it doesn’t make any sense.) Brother Branham taught that God the Father is a spirit (the Holy Spirit) and we can’t know a spirit. So God became flesh and dwelt among us for a while. That was Jesus Christ, who we call the Son of God. (That is exactly what John chapter 1 says. No false doctrine there.) After Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected, he returned to the Father, and then He sent back His Spirit to indwell His children. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—just like the New Testament teaches. Besides, where in the Bible does it say you have to believe in “the Trinity” to be saved? It doesn’t say that. The New Testament says you have to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. And surprise… that’s what Brother Branham taught also.

Theory #6:  His gift was from God, but William Branham went wrong when he taught doctrine. If he had just prayed for the sick, he would have been all right. 

My response:  Have you thought that idea through? Are you saying that God was shortsighted and picked the wrong man to give such a monumental supernatural gift to? Or are you saying that God purposely gave William Branham this great supernatural gift knowing he would end up teaching wrong? What would be the purpose in that? Neither of these responses matches the omnipotent, omniscient God of the Bible.  What you really might be saying is, “He didn’t teach what I believe, so he must be a wrong.” (Re-read Brian Tracy’s comment about human nature.) Well, if we we’re all correct in our doctrine, God wouldn’t have needed to send a prophet at all, would he? But Jesus said, “Elijah shall first come and restore all things,” so apparently Elijah must show up sometime, somewhere, and do some restoring. If you were God, how would you vindicate such a modern day Elijah?

Theory #7:  William Branham’s amazing gift of discernment came from God for the purpose of vindicating him as a true servant of God.

My response:  This is the only theory that matches all the facts: physical, spiritual and biblical. That’s why I believe it this way. Brother Branham never said he had the spirit of Elijah—but he did point out many of the scriptures this end time Elijah would fulfill—and guess what, Brother Branham’s life matched all those scriptures. I’ll tell you at least one thing he obviously restored—he restored visible proof that Jesus Christ is real. Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; even greater works than these shall he do because I go unto my Father.” No one has fulfilled this scripture more fully than humble little William Branham.

For those who are skeptical, before you reject William Branham’s ministry, give some serious consideration to this question: How did he do it? Don’t skip this question. You need to settle on a honest, sensible answer. If you come to the same conclusion I came to, then your next question should be: What does this mean to me?

One of my favorite spots in researching Brother Branham’s life was when I heard him say to a woman who was sitting in the audience during one of his 1957 meetings in Edmonton, Canada. “Here, there hangs that Light over a woman. She’s suffering with high blood pressure. Stand to your feet. Her name is Mrs. Fishbrook. You’re from this city. You live on 125th Street. The number of your house is 13104. That’s exactly right. If that’s right, raise your hand. All right, go home. You’re healed, lady. Jesus Christ makes you well.” (God Projecting His Love, 57-0806, E-52)

Now, what are the statistical odds of William Branham guessing that?

Owen Jorgensen, 2014

Author of Supernatural: The Life of William Branham





19 thoughts on “A Biographer Answers Critics of William Branham

  • This doesn’t even come close to answering the charges made by the Bergenite website Believe the Sign. I am not saying I agree with BTS; but I am saying that there is a concentrated effort to discredit the life of William Branham from people who once dilligently followed this Message. I would be interested to see what others think on the work of Rod Bergent.

  • Many things things are happening to try to Discredit the message…..there are at least 2 people saying they are to finish William Branhams ministry but are going against what he taught.

    Example. Donald Parnell

  • Many things things are happening to try to Discredit the message…..there are at least 2 people saying they are to finish William Branhams ministry but are going against what he taught.

    This can lead to confusion if one isnt careful

    Example. Donald Parnell

  • This is fluff. This is a feel good article for Message believers that are afraid of what might be and need someone to reassure them without too much detail. This does not actually address any of the concerns raised on …. or any other of the many other websites addressing William Branham’s ministry.

  • Most of the “concerns” raised have to do with just as much fabrication and denial of the witnesses in support of the Message. For example Perry Greens testimony of speaking with George Macdonald about the cloud, about the Bridge, etc. The fact that as more of the various recorded stories come out it actually undercuts much of what these sites say and claim, forcing them to introduce new theories and new ways to doubt what has been established for the last 50 yrs, -established that is until the majority of the living witnesses were no longer around to confirm the veracity of the statements.
    The Fact is that REASONS based on a vacuum of knowledge should never be used as basis for deciding anything. The only possible result of them is deception, along with a constant re-editing and revising of versions. The VERY THINGS ex-believers continually criticize William Branham for. They are just as guilty of ALL the things they accuse William Branham of.. it’s shockingly hypocritical.

  • Would you please post the witness statements that you are referring to, or the links to where they are posted?

  • When you go to this link, you’ll see many personal testimonies of eye- witnesses to what happened.I checked out the skeptics site- but all they could say is they didn’t find evidence in some archives of some things happening. They seem to presuming guilt- maybe to ease their conscience. Luke 16:31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ax-wN1lpn4

  • some criric dispute the fact that man was first spiritual before he was formed out of the dust of the earth cause in Genesis 1:29 God told them that the all the herbs and fruit is for them as meat they claim that spirits cant eat but in Genesis2:5-6 is the answer to there critism. See it was there according to God’s word but look at the end of verse 5 there was no man and also it was but just plants direct after verse 5 follow verse 6 – 7 where God formed man off the dust of the earth after He had watered the earth He first made sure there was food for man before He formed him i truely believe brother Branham was a man send by God to restore is cofusion those who first follow the message than critisies it meaning they only collect ammo to fight what they never believed i learnt about the message when i was in prison i never could think that God could be in a place like that

  • the thing concerning bro Branham that struck me the most when i learnt about the message while in prison was not all the miracles he did threw his believe in our Lord its i believe the smalest of all the fact that he according to the modern society critics was that he was a standard 5 unaducated man who explain the book of Ruth which threw the ages was just a love story in the Bible that no educated preacher could explain i personaly thank God for sending us a prophet in this last days extended grace why dispute something that you cannot proove as in the book of acts the warning was let us not fight God thingking we fighting men if any preach and it does not tale with the Bible its not of God but why dispute the very thing that God backed let me leave all critics with this scripture found in the book of Romans 3:7 with love in Crist Jesus our Lord im a South African that got to know the message while in prison.

  • What the critics that are against the Message don’t know is that by spreading their words of hate against the Message they are actually helping the Message reach the ends of the earth. Once the true seed of God hears this Message, whether be it in a positive or negative light, it will spring up and seek God for the revelation of the Truth. just like Paul said in…, Phi 1:15-18
    15Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

  • for all you critics that go against the message you once followed read 1 John 2: 18-19 while you still have the oppertunity to get back to God the way John describe the antichrist the once followed the same the came to disbelieve and its in continuation with there must come a fallaway first so all we have is love and our prayers for your sake dont let the book of grace be closed on you without repentence and dont be counted with the world as Paul asked the question so do i by the grace of our Lord who had bewitched you turn back to Christ and repent for in Him is the fullness of the Godhead bodily and thats what Bro Branham preached

  • God bless you all.
    I believe in the Infallibility of the Bible as the Word of God.
    I know critics are all over the net but that is normal, Christ was criticized, saints were persecuted and are still being persecuted. Its a spirit in them doing that.
    But if really God is in what Bro Branham taught then the same God will vindicate It. And if God is in the other beliefs God will vindicate them. Truth remains that Branham was a prophet of God like no other in history.
    Let’s compare the life fruits of the ‘TRUE ‘ believers of the Message of the Hour and the life fruits of the critics of his ministry. Do they have the Holyghost? Is God vindicating them? is HEBREWS 13:8 real to them? is Ephesians 4:11 fulfilled among them?
    ?If any of the answers is NO, God isn’t with them.
    I don’t believe the Spirit of God can make anyone use abusive language to any other person with a contradicting belief. Followers of the Message of the Hour are considered ‘cult’ members, I have no problem with that because Paul was called ‘a sect leader ‘, just because we base everything on scripture we are often seen as unorthodox, ofcourse we cannot teach like evangelicals or liberal churches. They teach what they want to hear!
    I believe in a living God who speaks, if you desire to know if the Message is real or not, get on your knees and pray over it. God will tell you.!

    God is still vindicating this Message which directs all to go back to Biblical teachings. I have seen people healed of HIV/AIDS, lame walk, drunkards saved and many people receiving the Holyghost. This God is still real my dear brethren.

  • Well, I do not know where to start from. But the truth is that: the more the devil is trying to destroy the Message,the more we the believers are being encouraged. Gallant soldier, fight on.

  • By His grace i great you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to all the message critics i once preached a sermon on essence of aroma and i made a very good statement that when you put on a perfume and get the fresh smell of it during the day it will fade to you but to someone else the smell will be fresh threwout the day so is the message we get so used to it that it makes no sense anymore but to someone else it will always be something fresh preach Christ if Bro Branham was wrong to you he will answer to God like he use to say God will hold him accountable for what he preached its because you put the focus on william branham while he did the way of the apostles in which paul and them kept telling the people this is what we preached that you should turn from you fullfilling the scripture preach Christ a stumbling block to the chritians and foolishness to the scientist God Bless You

  • Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ many of you people that onece believed this message and became critics of the same in your hearts you know that Bro Branham was wright many of the great preachers of this day still read the message as a guideline one UPC Ps at one time blasted Br Branham infront of his congregation only to find out that he had a few spoken words on his desk i told someone his using it for two reasons to get guidelines and at the same time to get ammunision the one thing the world cant deny is the fact as in the time of our Lord when they it was said never spoke a man like this man the same with the prophet and yet you critisize the very thing that you know is true God bless you

  • See i myself when i first heard of the message i didnt believe. Untill i was sentence to prison for six years. I thaught my life has stopped in there untill i met a fellow prisoner who also received the message in prison being in a place like that you feel that the world and even God had forsaken you. Well he introduce himself to me as Jacob but said that i can call him Daniel for God had taten him out of the lions den. He later introduce me to the message. When he was send to another prison i wrote to VOG who send me some books. Out of prison i attend a message church but went back to my old gangster ways. I was standing with a choice this message helped me to made right choice now im preaching the Bible as a complete dove with its tail God bless all you galant soldiers. Remember Bro Branhams words stick to the tapes. Pray for everyone that criticise this message.

  • A good couple this muslim guy was terrorising the chritian comunity. His name was Aghmed Didad many of the old folks will remember him it was the guy that beat Jimmy Swaggert in a debate. He was a south african but past away a couple of years ago. Here in our country he made a mochery of the christians untill he had a debate with some message believers. His followers was shouting that the tapes be switched of. Believers let us embrace Gods extended Hand of grace threw his servant and not criticise it. As in the book of acts that it might not be found that you going against God. Remember the people that withstood Jesus was the very once who was waiting for Him. They where all Jews the seed of the called out. As Bro Branham always use to say Biblical history repeat itself. Dont let it be found that you fullfill that part that fail to see Jesus our Lord. We aught to see Jesus and not William Branham to begin with he always Pointed us back to the cross

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