William Branham and his prophetic
ministry in the end-time
William M. Branham .We claim to believe as the Holy Scripture says and acknowledge with thankful hearts that we are now living close to the second coming of Christ. We see Bible prophecies fulfilled as it was at His first coming. The New Testament began with the fulfilment of scriptural prophecies and ends the same way. The promise that a voice would cry in the wilderness (Isa. 40:3) and that the Lord would send His messenger to prepare His way (Mal. 3:1) became a living reality in the ministry of John the Baptist. This we find confirmed in Mt. 11:10; Mk. 1:1-4; Lk. 1:16-17; Jn. 1:19-28.
As it was given to our brethren at the beginning to experience the fulfilment of Bible prophecies and to rightly place them it is now with us the case. John the Baptist appeared on the scene just before the day of salvation commenced. His ministry was done in the spirit and power of Elijah and many came to believe because of his message (Jn. 10:41-42). But there remains also the promise, »Behold, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord.« (Mal. 4:5). According to 2 Cor. 1:20, »… all promises of God in Him are »Yea« and in Him »Amen« unto the Glory of God by us.« Not one of His promises can remain unfulfilled. Because of the importance of the last promise in the Old Testament our Lord repeated the same in the New, »And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things« (Mt. 17: 11). »And he answered and told them, Elijah verily cometh first, and restoreth all things.« (Mk. 9:12). Also these scriptures do not permit a private interpretation. It is noteworthy that this announcement was given after the ministry of John the Baptist had long finished.
As certain as John the Baptist was the Elijah at the first coming of Christ it is certain that the promise remains about the coming of Elijah before the great and dreadful day will be. Through his ministry all things will be put into the right order and place. This promise was fulfilled in our time. Because of the many deviations a total return to the original teachings and Bible practices had to take place. The Church of Jesus Christ at the end must be the same in teaching and life as she was at the beginning. God Himself promised the times of the spiritual refreshing that would come from His presence. The apostles apparently understood the promises in the right way and placed them accordingly. In his second sermon after Pentecost the Apostle Peter spoke about the time of refreshing in view of the return of Christ, »Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the time began.« (Acts 3:19-21). That is »Thus saith the Lord« in His Word Who watches over It to let it happen as soon as time is fulfilled.
Every time when something pertaining to the plan of salvation took place it was accompanied by the supernatural. The birth of John the Baptist and, of course the birth of our Lord was announced by the Angel Gabriel (Lk. 1 + 2). When Saul was called and commissioned the Lord appeared to him like in the times of Moses in the supernatural light, as recorded in Acts 9, 22 and 26. We therefore should not be astonished that the same has happened in our time. In the contrary, it only confirms that the ever-true God is the One Who reveals Himself and Who acts in all things pertaining to the plan of salvation even now at the end-time.
It truly happened on 11th June 1933 at about 2.00 PM in the presence of approximately 4,000 people when the supernatural light broke through the clouds descending over the young preacher William M. Branham. At the moment he was about to baptise the seventeenth person in the Ohio River. The voice from this light spoke to him, »As John the Baptist was send to forerun the first coming of Christ, the message that is given you will be a forerunner of the second coming of Christ.« During the Easter meetings 1966 in the Branham Tabernacle Rev. E Frank had seen about a dozen people who witnessed that event. In the ministry of William Branham we are dealing with a divine commission, the fulfilment of the Elijah prophecy.
William Branham also referred to the experience he had on the evening of 7th May 1946 when the supernatural light illuminated the room and the Angel of the Lord who he described precisely stood before him, saying, »Fear not, I am sent to you from the presence of God to tell you of your commission …« As true as every calling has been which we find recorded in the Bible this one is also true because it is a direct fulfilment of the promise God made. I, Ewald Frank, believe the testimony of this man of God firstly, because I accept it to be true, secondly, because it is the fulfilment of a scriptural promise, thirdly, as I had the extra-ordinary privilege to experience the God given ministry of Rev. Branham as an eye and ear-witness for the period of ten years.
So that no one in this generation will be without excuse the following has happened: On 24th January 1950 the supernatural light descended during a meeting in the Collisseum in Houston, Texas, where about 8,000 people were gathered to hear William Branham preach. The press photographers Mr. Ayers and Mr. Kippermann took many photos. As Mr. Ayers was developing the film in the Douglas Studio he noticed that only one picture had come out with the supernatural light about the head of Rev. Branham. After a debate took place between Dr. Best who denied any supernatural to take place in our time and the co-worker of Rev. Branham Rev. F. F. Bosworth it happened. At the moment William Branham come to the pulpit and he said, »I do not need to defend myself. He that called and commissioned me will also confirm it.« Mr. Ayer pressed the button of his camera. The official expert of FBI for questioned documents Dr. George J. Lacy confirmed on 29th January 1950 that the negative was absolutely genuine and the light had to be there in order for the camera to catch it. Apparently in this age of technical inventions God permitted unbelievers to confirm His presence among believers.
It would be indeed pitiful if we only knew about what evangelists and charismatic personalities are doing who as is a proven fact all have their own plans and programs. To say it clearly they all build their kingdoms within the Kingdom of God and establish their own churches, Bible schools etc. If we would not know what God is doing now in His Kingdom and in His Church we should be the most miserable living on earth. He redeemed His Church, He builds His Church and calls His Own out of all the religious captivities and confusion and brings us back to the original foundation of the apostles and prophets whereby Jesus Christ Himself is the chief-cornerstone and also the headstone. Now according to Mt. 24:45 in all faithfulness the spiritual food is given at the right time. Man does not live by bread alone but by every Word of God. It is the spiritual manna for our soul.
Ever since God had His servants and He also placed the different ministries into the Church (1 Cor. 12:28 a. o.). From God’s point of view the ministry of Rev. Branham is just as important as the one of Moses, of Joshua, of John the Baptist, of the Apostle Peter and Paul. That the dear Lord has also given me, E. Frank a commission is not what I earned and it is not my decision. But because of the direct calling and commission I received on 2nd April 1962 to preach God’s Word and to proclaim the divine message which would go forth into all the world before the second coming of Christ, my ministry is only a continuation of what God has given by the direct commission to William Branham. Whether it is believed or not, whether it is received or not, but I do have the same responsibility before God to rightly divide the Word of truth and place it correctly as the Apostle Paul had in his day. We are now experiencing the last part of the events pertaining to the plan of salvation and soon we shall see the completion. Finally, the remark should be permissive: Only those who are of God will hear the Word of God (Jn. 8:47). And as it was revealed to the Apostle Paul in Rom 11:7, it is even now the case that only the elect will receive what God has given. The religious leaders of all times did bypass what God was doing. They did not recognise the ministry of John the Baptist and were totally opposed to our Lord and His ministry, although they were celebrating their religious services. It is possible that history is repeating. One thing remains true forever: God does all things according to His Word in fulfilling the promises He made.
To avoid misunderstandings it may by emphasised once more that I, E. Frank, and the Freie Volksmission Krefeld have distanced ourselves from all so-called »Branham-churches« and »Message Believers« who do not take the Holy Scripture as their final authority but rather are taking statements out of context establishing their own teachings. We do not believe in a »Branham-Gospel« or in a »Branham-Message«, but in the true message of God’s Word brought to us by the messenger, therefore we believe the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and we are now ambassadors of Christ as the Apostle Paul states in 2 Cor. 5:17-21. With the same apostolic authority based upon the divine commission I can say, »Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we beg you in Christ’s stead, Be you reconciled to God.«