After 44 Years of Believing William Branham’s Message, Here Is Why I’m Staying With It!
By Owen Jorgensen, July 1 2014
Brother Branham said his Message was: Come into Christ.
I became a Christian in 1968 when I was 16, and I first heard William Branham’s message when I was 18. Listening to his sermons brought me closer to Jesus Christ—and they continue to encourage me in the Lord to this day. Here are some of the wonderful things His Message has done for me.
First of all, William Branham elevated Jesus Christ higher than anyone else I have ever heard (outside of The Message). Oh, the other Christians say “Jesus is Lord” and they hail Him as “God in flesh”, and give him other fancy titles; but if you listen to them for a while, eventually they demote Jesus to some lesser position, like “the second person” or some other such thing. William Branham taught me that Jesus Christ is “Supreme Deity.” There is no one higher. You might ask, “But what about God the Father?” Brother Branham taught me that God (the Father) is Spirit, and Jesus (the Son) is that Spirit become human. (John 1:18; 4:24; 14:8-10, and many other scriptures). That makes Jesus fully God, and fully human.
William Branham taught me how Jesus is human. God the Spirit created a human egg and sperm inside the womb of Mary when she was still a virgin. These connected. From that point on, Jesus developed naturally like every other human embryo. But there is more to this equation. How did Jesus recognize His uniqueness even at the age of 12, whereas the rest of us are still floundering at that age? Each son and daughter of God has a spiritual representation in the mind of God, which Brother Branham called a theophany, or spiritual body. When you and I were born, we by-passed our theophany, so we have had to struggle to see God. But Jesus was born with His theophany united to his physical body, so by the time He turned 12 he knew who He was. Understanding that distinction has helped me as I try to live for Christ, and sometimes fail Him.
Brother Branham was not “Oneness” or “Jesus Only”. He taught me that there is a difference between “The Father” and “The Son”. The New Testament often refers to this difference, which many people have misconstrued into a “Two-in-One” or a “Three-in-One” doctrine of God. But there is only one God. Remember the first commandment is, “Hear O Israel the Lord our God is One Lord (Mark 12:29).” Brother Branham clarified this for me. He told me that God is a Spirit, and since we don’t know exactly what a spirit is, none of us can know God in His Spirit form. Therefore God became a man, so we could know Him. (John 1: “No man has seen God AT ANY TIME, but the only begotten Son… he hath declared Him.” Thomas said to Jesus, “Show us the Father… Jesus answered Thomas, “When you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father. John 14:8-10.) In John 21:21 Thomas called Jesus, “My Lord and my God.”
Before I heard of William Branham, I had already accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. But Brother Branham showed me exactly who Jesus is. What greater gift could any minister give to people? And if that wasn’t enough, he then showed me the attributes of Jesus Christ—everything from holiness to the real nature of sin. He said there is only one basic sin, and that is—disbelieving God’s Word. Every other bad thing we do is just manifesting different aspects of unbelief.
He taught me why there is evil in the world. God had attributes that He wanted to express—attributes like “healer”, “ comforter” and “savior”. He created this world so He could express those attributes. He did not create evil—no, He could not do that, because He is all good. But he created a man and a woman with this amazing ability we call “free will”; and then God allowed a situation to occur knowing that Adam and Eve would fail. It wasn’t eating a piece of fruit that caused their fall. God is not that arbitrary. No, it was adultery, which God still considers a sin today. Once I understood that the serpent was at first a mammal similar to man, then the Garden of Eden story changed from an allegorical fairy tale to one rooted in our modern understanding of genetics. Knowing that the serpent left a genetic imprint in mankind’s genetic code helped me to understand the animal-like brutality of human history and the conflicts I see on the nightly news.
I have not yet mentioned the decades of miracles that Jesus did through Brother Branham’s ministry—hundreds of thousands of miracles, some that boggle my mind because they are so utterly fantastic—and many of these miracles are recorded, originally on magnetic tape and now in digital formats. I listen to his prayer-lines with awe—and my faith rises as I contemplate the power of this great Christ whom I serve. More than any other minister of our day, William demonstrated the Gospel, bringing the reality of Jesus Christ visibly before us.
Furthermore, God gave Brother Branham a glimpse of paradise, which he called “beyond the curtain of time”. I have never heard anything more beautiful that his description of that sublime place. To me it was the spiritual equivalent of Joshua and Caleb bringing back giant grapes from the Promised Land and saying to the Israelites, “See, Moses was telling us the truth. Canaan is a good land--and God said we could live there if we only believe Him and persevere.”
Brother Branham did not teach me about grace. I already understood that I am saved by my faith in Jesus Christ alone, and not by my works (Ephesians 2:8) But his message has strengthened my faith immeasurably.
I was so relieved when I learned that hell was not eternal. It’s right there in the book of Revelation—hell is thrown into the Lake of Fire and destroyed (Revelation 20:14)—but until I heard Brother Branham, I thought hell was eternal because that’s what other Christians told me. I’ll tell you why learning this fact meant so much to me. Christians would say, “God is love; but if you don’t return that love, God is going to roast you for eternity!” Huh? That didn’t sound like love to me. But God is love. He is also merciful and just. There will be a judgment day when the deeds and motives of men will be examined. Many will receive His mercy, and the rest… well, hell was not created for man, but for the devil and his demons. However, if people don’t want God, then hell is the only place they can go because it’s the only place devoid of God’s presence. How long they will be there, the Bible doesn’t say—but they won’t live there for eternity. There is only one form of eternal life, and that is in Jesus Christ (John11:25). Brother Branham helped me understand that God truly is love.
I could go on and on... but I want to keep this short.
Let me briefly address the criticisms leveled at William Branham. I spent approximately 12,000 hours researching and writing a biography of him, called Supernatural: The Life of William Branham (available on my website supernaturalchristianbooks.com.) I dare say few people have looked into his life as thoroughly as I have. Certainly he was not perfect. And yet, William Branham was as honorable and sincere a Christian as I have ever heard of. His dedication to helping people went far above and beyond the call of duty. Consider his 1947 faith-healing campaign in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where he prayed for a solid line of people for eight straight days and nights, stopping now and then to eat a sandwich or to nap for ten minutes on the platform, while the next patient waited for him to wake and pray for him or her. In the history of the world, I have never heard of anything like this ever being done before. And that’s just one example. He usually fasted and prayed for several days before starting a faith-healing campaign in a city. His heart’s desire was to help people see Jesus Christ. He could have been a multi-millionaire, but he turned down riches, taking just a small weekly salary for himself and putting the rest of the money that came in towards missions, under the name Branham Campaigns. He always acknowledged Jesus Christ as the healer.
He always dealt with people in a Christ-like manner; and yet people (even some Christian people today) still criticize him. Interestingly, every criticism that is directed at William Branham could also be said of Jesus Christ and the Apostles, if one had a mind to criticize. For example, some people say William Branham was a liar; or at least stretched the truth, so you can’t really believe him. The critic of Christianity can say Luke was lying when he said Herod killed hundreds of babies in Bethlehem because he wanted to be sure of killing the baby Jesus. After all, there are no records of such an atrocity in secular history (and we know a lot about the reign of Herod the Great of Judea.) A critic of Christianity could also say Jesus lied in John 7:2-10. He told his brothers he wasn’t going to go to the feast, and then he went. You and I know there is more to the story—but that doesn’t matter to the critics. As far as they are concerned, Jesus lied to his brothers. And how about Paul the Apostle? He can’t seem to get his facts straight. When Jesus speaks to him on his road to Damascus, Acts 9:7 says the men with him heard the voice, but Acts 22:9 says those same me did not hear the voice. The critic can even accuse Jesus of being a false prophet. How is that, you wonder? While standing in the temple at Jerusalem, Jesus said “If you tear this temple down, I’ll build it again in 3 days.”(John 2:19) The Roman army tore that temple down in 70 A.D. and it has never been rebuilt since. We would challenge the critic by saying “Jesus was speaking of the temple of his body.” But the critic would point out that Jesus never said that—John said that Jesus referred to his body; so we are just making excuses (John 2:21).
And then there is doctrine… Jesus put forth a doctrine so repugnant to the Jews that 70 of his closest followers left him over it. Jesus said they had to eat his body and drink his blood to have eternal life. The Old Testament law forbids Jews to eat any meat that still has the blood in it. At this point Jesus didn’t explain the deeper meaning behind his words—he just said it and left it at that—and these 70 men thought, “This guy can’t be a prophet if he preaches unscriptural stuff like that.” After they left, Jesus asked the 12 remaining disciples if they would leave also. Peter, speaking for the group (and for me) said, “Master, where would we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 5:51-69)
None of these criticisms of Christianity shake me, because I’ve met the Lord Jesus personally—so I know He is real and His Word is true, even though I can’t explain every mysterious detail. I could answer most of the criticisms of Brother Branham one by one, but that wouldn’t satisfy a critic, unless he or she had an honest and open heart, and was really desiring to find the truth.
In Brother Branham’s sermon “Deep Calleth to the Deep,” (which is one of the few movies taken of his faith-healing campaigns) Brother Branham said to his audience, “If you came here to criticize, then the devil will give you something to criticize. If you came here to see God, then you’ll see God. It all depends on what you’re looking for.” There were plenty of critics of Jesus when he walked on this earth—and ever since then too. So it doesn’t surprise me that William Branham is criticized, since he walked so close to Jesus that some people even mistook him for being God. It is easy to criticize; it’s much harder to build something of value. Brother Branham didn’t build a denomination. He worked hard to bring people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
I am one of those people he helped. I am staying with “The Message” because it is a beacon of truth and clarity shinning through the fog of men’s ideas. It has guided me to the genuine Jesus Christ, and in Him I have found love, joy, peace and safety. I have come into Christ, and I am staying put.
--Owen Jorgensen, July 1, 2014