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Angela Torres wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am a devout Catholic, but my boyfriend isn't Catholic. He believes that William Branham is the "end-time" prophet. I believe this to be some sort of cult. As I research his life, sermons, and beliefs, I found he believes that:

"the doctrine of the Trinity is the doctrine of demons only believed by the Catholic church, the false church."

William Branham, who is dead, also taught that God's word came in three forms:

  • the Zodiac
  • the Egyptian pyramids, and
  • the Scriptures.

Anyway, this is just a little of what my boyfriend believes and I am having a hard time defending my Faith, seeing that I, myself, don't know the faith as much as I should.

If you have any suggestions please reply.

Thank You.

Yours in Christ,

Angela

  { Can you tell me about William Branham, who my boyfriend says is the "end-time" prophet? }

Bob replied:

Angela, Karl Keating's book Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Click to buy

You should definitely do some study in apologetics. Get Karl Keating's book Catholicism and Fundamentalism, online or at any Catholic book store. You may want to also subscribe to a magazine like ENVOY (800-553-6869) which is loaded with great stuff to help you understand and articulate your faith in difficult situations and on various issues.

As far as your boyfriend goes, you may be able to research his "prophet" through Catholic Answers, a Catholic apologetics organization.

Lastly, I hope you have success; I'll pray for you.

Bob K.

Richard replied:

Hi Angela —

Let me add to what Bob has said above. Here is some information on Branham.

About William Branham:

The Encyclopedia of American Religions has this information on Branham:

Branham Tabernacle and Related Assemblies
c/o The William Branham Evangelistic Association
and the Branham Tabernacle
Box 325
Jeffersonville, IN 47130

Alternate address:

The Voice of God Recordings, Inc.,
Box 950
Jeffersonville, IN 47130

William Marrion Branham (1909-1965) was a Pentecostal prophet who, as a child, began to hear the voice of one he claimed to be an angel of the Lord. Healed as a young man in a Pentecostal Church, he became a preacher and his success led to the building of a tabernacle in his home town of Jeffersonville, Indiana. Another angelic visitation in 1946 launched his evangelical career as a seer with a healing ministry. He spoke of being called by God to pray for the sick, and the angel told him that he had been sent with a gift. He began to travel around the country leading revival services. He met Gordon Lindsey, a young Assemblies of God pastor in Oregon, who joined Branham and in 1948 began The Voice of Healing, to publicize Branham's work and bring supporters together. As Branham's tours and fame spread nationally and internationally, other ministers with a gift for healing associated themselves with him and The Voice of Healing.
During the 1950s, Branham led the revival in healing that would project such people as Oral Robert, Morris Cerullo, and A. A. Allen into the spotlight as leaders of their own organizations.

Around 1960, Branham became separated from the majority of the healing evangelists when he allowed divergent opinions which he had always held but rarely spoken about to become frequent topics in his sermons. He denounced denominationalism as the mark of the beast of the Book of Revelation. He openly denounced Trinitarian doctrine, which led many to see him as an advocate of Jesus Only, non-trinitarian theology. Jesus Only Pentecostals believe that Jesus is the name of the One God, and that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not distinct persons in the Godhead. They baptize in the name of Jesus. Branham, while possibly sharing their ideas about the Godhead, taught that baptism was to be in the name of the "Lord Jesus Christ." Then in 1963, he began to emphasize the message of Malachi 4:5, that God had promised to send his prophet, Elijah. While never identifying himself as that messenger, he left the door open for his followers, many of whom came to believe that he was the one spoken about by Malachi. This issue alienated Branham from many of his former followers. His attempt to recover his former widespread support ended when he died in a car accident two years later.

Those who followed Branham's message, who believed him to be the one with the spirit of Elijah, began immediately to preserve and perpetuate his message. Copies of sermon tapes and transcripts of sermons were reproduced and circulated by Spoken Word Publications and The Voice of God Recordings, Inc., both of which were headquartered a few blocks from the tabernacle in Jeffersonville. Recently Spoken Word merged into The Voice of God, which now houses the most complete archive of Branham tapes and written material. The Voice of God regularly sends out copies of Branham's sermons which it is publishing one-by-one as a series of pamphlets under the general heading The Spoken Word. The Voice of God is headed by Joseph Branham.

The Rev. Billy Paul Branham now heads the William Branham Evangelistic Association and preaches at the tabernacle. Besides the Branham Tabernacle, there are a number of independent churches which follow the message initiated by Branham. There is no association, no bishops or overseers, only an informal fellowship. Many of these churches regularly order materials from The Voice of God and offer financial support of its work. Besides the following in the United States and Canada, support comes from Australia, New Zealand, and India.

Membership: Not reported.

More than 100 pastors and churches regularly receive the materials circulated by Voice of God Recordings, Inc.

Periodicals:

  • The Witness, Box 950, Jeffersonville, IN 47130.
  • Only Believe, Believers International, Box 56270, Tucson, AZ 85703

There are several items on the web about William Branham, including this overview of his views and errors from the Cult Awareness and Information Centre:

A web search on Yahoo turns up numerous sites, some favorable, some critical.

Best wishes —

Richard Chonak

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