Comments on Voice of God Recording's Article, "Because He Said So!"
Voice of God Recordings, Inc. (VGR) is a distribution outlet of audio, video, electronic, and printed resources which pertain to William Marrion Branham (WMB) and his Message. VGR is led by William Branham's two sons, Joseph and Billy Paul Branham. Between 2006 and 2013, VGR published a newsletter called, Catch the Vision. In 2012, Catch the Vision featured a defense of William Branham and his Message in an article they titled, "Because He Said So!" Here I will post a series of rebuttals to their article.
In 2012, Voice of God Recording published an article in their newsletter Catch the Vision which contained an article titled, "Because He Said So!" I didn't actually read the article when it came out, but I heard it was a defense of William Branham's teachings against critics like me who have been exposing the discrepancies and false prophecies of the Message. Someone recently emailed me and asked if I had ever responded to the article, so I decided that I should probably read it for myself and give some clear responses to the many fallacious arguments VGR had made in it.
In the opening of their article, VGR says,
That old serpent’s approach in the Garden of Eden has been successful for 6,000 years, and he’s become a master at planting the seed of doubt. He learned a long time ago that he doesn’t need to tackle the entire Bible; all he needs to do is cause his victim to disbelieve one word. Then doubt has an open door to spread from Genesis to Revelation. True to form, he is doing the same thing with the Gospel today.
The irony of this statement is that VGR actually defends the contradictions and false prophecies in the Message by suggesting that there are similar supposed discrepancies in the Bible. VGR says that skeptics of the Bible have identified many problem areas in the Bible by their human reasoning, but since the Bible is God's Word, then we must believe it in spite of its problems. VGR lays out critical arguments against the Bible, but never explains why they are not really problems at all. Instead, they say since the Bible is true with all its supposed contradictions, then we can believe the prophet when discrepancies in the Message are pointed out by people like me. Rather than defending the integrity of the Bible, VGR throws the Bible under the bus. Rather than upholding the veracity of Scripture, they bring the Bible down to the level of WMB's false Message.
In the next few days, I will be responding to VGR's God-dishonoring article by pointing out how their defense of the Message by downgrading the Bible is yet another scheme of the evil one to subtly cast doubt on God's Word by comparing it to their false Message.
The first section of VGR's article is called, "The Four Gospels." They begin by making the following statement:
Every Gospel tells the resurrection story differently. How can the Bible be true if a story this important is different in all four accounts?
They proceed to summarize the account of Jesus' appearance to Mary as presented in each of the 4 gospels (Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20), asking the following questions:
Was there an earthquake?
How many Angels were at the tomb?
How many women went to the tomb?
Who told Mary to go tell the disciples?
What is their answer to the supposed contradictions they identify in the article? They don't answer it. They say the answer can be found by reading the accounts for yourself in the Bible. If you think there is a contradiction between the 4 accounts, they have no explanation for it. They leave the reader with the confused view that the Bible just contradicted itself, but that since God wrote it that way, then we are expected to believe it regardless of the discrepancies.
So does the Bible actually contain contradictions on this issue? Of course not. A contradiction would constitute a lie made by at least 3 of the authors of the 4 gospels. Here is the correct answer to the "contradictions?"
In the gospels you have 4 different witnesses who knew about what happened at the Resurrection. But each of the authors either didn't know all the details of what happened, or only mentioned certain details and left out others for reasons only God knows. The four accounts do not contradict each other. They all tell the same story from the perspective of each of the four writers. Here are each of the 4 questions VGR raises followed by the correct answer, consistent with biblical truth:
Was there an earthquake?
Of course. We know because Matthew said so. Just because the other writers didn't mention the earthquake, it doesn't mean an earthquake didn't happen.
How many Angels were at the tomb? We know from Luke's and John's gospels that there were two angels present. We also know that Matthew and Mark only mention one angel. However, just because Matthew and Mark mention only one angel, it doesn't mean there was only one angel. In Matthew, we read that one angel said most of what the other gospels said. Even though Luke and John say that both angels spoke to Mary, Matthew and Mark thought it important to mention the conversation of only one of the angels. But some of the writers mention statements that the other writers didn't. Obviously, there was more said by the angels than any single gospel writer mentioned. Matthew and Mark seemed to think it important only to mention what one of the angels actually said.
How many women went to the tomb? We don't know the exact number. What we know from Luke 23:55-24:1 is that there were “some women” who had come from Galilee who took spices to Jesus' tomb. He says that among the women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. Mark mentions that among the women were at least Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome, while Matthew only mentioned Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary.” John only talks about Mary Magdelene. None of these accounts contradict the others. We know there were at least 3 women at the tomb, but some writers chose to mention the names of only 1, 2, or three of them in their narratives. If each of the accounts said that only those mentioned were present, then we would see a contradiction. But that's not what we see. Why don't all four gospel writers identify the same women? We don't know. What we do know is that when you read all four accounts, we know that there were several women who came to the tomb, among whom, but not limited to, were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and Salome.
Who told Mary to go tell the disciples? Mark says that the angel he wrote about told her to. Matthew says that the angel he spoke about did, and then he adds that Jesus Himself told her to. Luke says that Mary went to tell the other disciples, but he doesn't say that either of the angels told her to go. John only talks about Jesus telling her to go back and tell the brothers. So what we know is that at least one angel and Jesus Himself told Mary to go back and report to the disciples what she saw. No contradiction.
None of these accounts are contradictions because all of them are true. The only difference between them are the details each of the writers chose either to include or leave out.
VGR wants to leave their readers to believe that since the Bible appears to have unexplained discrepancies, we can be satisfied that William Branham's messages can contain similar discrepancies, as well. However, what we see with William Branham (WMB) are not differences that can be explained as we just explained the 4 Resurrection accounts. With WMB, he said things that actually contradicted the facts or what he had earlier said about any given event; that is, William Branham gave accounts of certain events in his ministry that differ in ways that cannot be true when we compare them. For example, when he first told about the vision he had of the angels appearing to him in the desert, he said there were only 5. He knew the number was 5 because they were in the shape of a pyramid with one on top and two coming down on either side. He reiterated the number by saying that 5 was the number of grace. There is no room for the possibility of there having been 7 angels when he first talked about them. A week later he said that there were no less then 5 but no more than 7 angels in the vision (what happened to 5 being the number of grace?). And from the time of the preaching of the Seven Seals, he was always adamant that there 7 angels in his vision. That is a true contradiction. There could not have been both only 5 angels and 7 angels. He was lying in at least one of those two accounts.
Don't believe VGR when they suggest we can believe in irreconsilable differences in the Message because we see them in the Bible, too. Their answer is not to hold up the veracity of God's Word by searching out the answer to differences in Scripture, but to defend the Message by casting doubt on Scriptural integrity.
The next segment in VGR's article is titled:
Another fiercely contested testimony is Paul on his road to Damascus and his experience with the Lord Jesus.
After presenting the various accounts of Paul's experience, VGR explains why the accounts are not exactly the same. They say:
So which account of Paul’s experience is true? They all are. The natural eye would think that the telling of this story is different decades after it took place, so it must be false. In reality, the Book of Acts is written exactly the way God wanted it.
In other words, VGR is agreeing with the critics of Christianity when they say these accounts contradict each other because the “natural eye” doesn't recognize that God wrote it how He wanted it. That is bogus. The fact is, these different accounts do not contradict each other. Here is how VGR explained the supposed discrepancies followed by my (JK) explanation of how VGR gets it wrong:
VGR: In Acts 9, the men with him “stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.” In Acts 22, Paul retells the story and says the men “saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.” This seems like a direct contradiction, but the skeptics don’t stop there.
JK: VGR says it seems like a contradiction, but it's not. They have already said that the natural eye cannot but see the contradiction. Because they have bought the critics' lie, they don't even attempt to explain why it's not a contradiction. Since they have taken sides with the critics, allow me to defend the integrity of Scripture. Here are where you can find the 3 different accounts of Paul's conversion appear in the Bible: Acts 9:1-9; Acts 22:6-21; Acts 26:12-18.
VGR uses exclusively the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible, which is written in an outdated form of English (Middle English) and doesn't always mean what we think it says. Sometimes it actually translates passages in error. VGR quotes Acts 22:9 as saying that those who were with Paul “saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.” The actual phrase in Greek means that they did not hear the voice with understanding. In other words, they heard the voice, but for some reason they did not understand what Jesus was talking about when He spoke to Paul. Rather than explaining why this does not a contradict the other passages which say they did hear the voice (as I have just done), VGR immediately goes to the next supposed contradiction, reading the 3 passages which contain details which are different from one another.
VGR: The critic would argue that some 30 years after the experience, when his life is on the line, Paul “embellishes” to justify his ministry, and says that Jesus, Himself, commissioned him to preach to the Gentiles, even though there was no mention of this in the previous accounts. So which account of Paul’s experience is true? They all are. The natural eye would think that the telling of this story is different decades after it took place, so it must be false. In reality, the Book of Acts is written exactly the way God wanted it.
JK: As I already mentioned, VGR believes that the “natural eye” would not be able to tell that the details of this event are not really contradictory. They think that anyone reading these three passages could only conclude that Paul fabricated embellishments in his account as time went on. They defend the contradiction by saying that the contradiction exists because “the Book of Acts is written exactly the way God wanted it.” In other words, God wanted to write contradictory accounts of this event and expects us to believe Him anyway. VGR makes no effort to explain why God did not contradict Himself at all when He inspired Luke to write the Book of Acts.
There are different reasons why Luke may have written the accounts differently, and none of them mean that Paul embellished the story as time went on as we see WMB doing so many times. One reason might be that he only recorded an abbreviated version of what Paul said in Acts 22. Or Paul might have told an abbreviated version of the event because he had just been severely beaten by the crowd (see Acts 21) and didn't have the strength to say more about what Jesus had said at the time. In any case, Luke did not contradict himself when he wrote chapter 9, chapter 22, and then chapter 26. He only provided more detail in chapters 22 and 26 than was given in chapter 9.
VGR: There are many who claim to believe the Bible but are critics of Brother Branham’s Message because Brother Branham described the seven visions from 1933 or his commission from the Angel of the Lord slightly different at times. The “inconsistency” is not in the Message, but in the way they judge the Message. Were Paul’s different testimonies false because they were told slightly different? Of course not.
VGR present these differing accounts in the Bible as contradictory but not false. They have to do that in order to defend William Branham's often contradictory accounts of various events which happened in his ministry. If we are given two or more contradictory accounts of the same event, only one of those accounts can be true. The rest must be false. WMB was known for telling a story differently each time he told it. His differences were not merely the additions of more details, but were actually the retelling of stories with details that contradict what he had earlier said; details that could not both be true.
For example, see all the real contradictions concerning WMB's 1933 visions here: http://people.delphiforums.com/JohnK63/1933.htm. Or see when WMB says his ministry began in March, 1945 as a result of a vision he had of a giant mountain of bread, but then later said it began in 1946 when he was commissioned by an angel. both cannot be true (see http://people.delphiforums.com/johnk63/evetns.htm#beginning). Or when he claimed the angel commissioned him in a cave in the woods, but in another place he said the angel commissioned him in a cabin (see http://people.delphiforums.com/johnk63/evetns.htm#cabin). Or how about all the various contradictory accounts of what happened to a man who tried to trap WMB in a prayer line (see http://people.delphiforums.com/johnk63/evetns.htm#fraud)? Or when he said that Donny Morton would be healed of his fatal illness even though he had really died from it (see http://people.delphiforums.com/johnk63/prophecies.htm#donny). Those are true contradictions which expose WMB as a liar when you compare them against each other. Any parent can see when their child is lying to them when they do that. Why can't Message Believers see that in WMB's Message?
VGR: Further, if they judge the Message by the Bible, then they will see that it is precisely in line with the way the prophets spoke. That is why we listen to so many tapes and read the entire Bible. We don’t read Matthew, and leave out the other three Gospels, and neither do we listen to the Seven Seals and leave out Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. We take it all because it ALL is the inspired Word of God.
JK: VGR takes it all in spite of what they think are contradictions, not by studying to see why there are no contradictions in the Bible. By the way, you can read all about WMB's contradictory teachings on “Daniel's Seventy Weeks” here: http://people.delphiforums.com/johnk63/teachings.htm#70
There are countless examples of clear, irreconcilable differences in WMB's anecdotal stories and prophecies which cannot be explained away. Rather than holding WMB accountable for his false testimonies and prophecies, VGR lowers the integrity of the Bible down to the same level as WMB's Message!
In the heading of the next segment of their article, VGR identifies a common argument atheists make against the Bible:
The age-old argument says, “The Bible was written by human beings. Humans err, so the Bible errs.”
Here's where VGR first begins to get off-track. They say,
The modern denominations might discount Peter and Paul by saying that they are human, and therefore, Peter and Paul erred.
That is a pretty bold statement, and overly broad. VGR is accusing all modern Christian denominations of leaning towards belittling the inerrancy of Scripture because Peter and Paul were imperfect human beings. Sure, there are some modern liberal denominations which don't hold to the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, but there are many which do. Those who don't may well be identified as being anti-Christian rather than a true church. A favorite biblical scholar of mine is J. Greshem Machen. He wrote a book called, Christianity & Liberalism, in which he makes the case that liberal theologians and liberal denominations should not even be considered Christian because of their unbelief in the integrity of God's Word. But there are many, many modern Evangelical denominations which hold to the inerrancy and infallibility of God's Word. They believe in the depravity of the human heart and the need for a savior. They preach the gospel of salvation by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ. They acknowledge the fact that its only because of Jesus Christ's atonement for our sins that we can be saved and receive eternal life. In the scheme of things, liberal denominations are actually declining in membership while Bible-believing denominations continue to thrive and grow while they stand for truth. Unfortunately, in the day and age we live in, many people are apostatizing. The bad news is that many of those apostates are appearing in many of our good denominations. There are two things we see happening as a result. Either the apostates take over the good denominations and cause it to decline in membership, or else the apostates split from the good denominations and form a liberal denomination that is more to their liking. The Apostle Paul warned us of such apostasy. But he also said that the Church, composed of true believers, would prevail. Jesus said that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church. VGR would have people believe that only followers of William Branham's Message comprise the true Church. And in doing so, they condemn all denominations. Of course, they are only being faithful to their prophet, William Branham, when he said,
Now, every church, as you say, “I’m a Christian.” “What denomination do you belong to?” What difference does that make, what denomination he belongs to? We realize that denomination has nothing to do with God’s Bible. And all Protestant denominations are harlots. Your Bible said so. When you say you’re a Methodist, you’re a Methodist harlot. You say you’re a Baptist, you’re a Baptist harlot. When you say you’re a Pentecost, you’re a Pentecostal harlot. That’s what the Bible said.
("The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit," message #58-0928M)
This leads us to the last statement of this section of their article:
So if God did, in fact, send a prophet, shouldn’t we believe all that he says? Isn’t that what Jesus taught?
The obvious answer is, yes, we should believe what the prophets have told us in God's name. But VGR's implication is that God did in fact send William Branham as a prophet and we should believe all that he says. They ask if that isn’t that what Jesus taught.
Jesus did tell us to believe all that the prophets have taught. But He also warned us to beware of false prophets. VGR is correct that true prophets are not perfect human beings. But VGR makes a category error when they suggest the errors in the personal lives of true prophets is the same as the errors WMB made when he prophesied falsely, or made mistakes in supposedly revealed doctrine throughout his Message. Making wrong decisions, or even sinning, is not a disqualification for being a true prophet of God. But prophesying things in the name of the Lord which do not come to pass as predicted is a definite disqualification. Teaching things as the Word of God for the hour which contradicts biblical teaching is a disqualification of a true prophet. WMB has done both many, many times. Like all biblical prophets, WMB was human and sometimes made mistakes. But unlike any true biblical prophet, WMB made false prophecies and taught unbiblical doctrine. William Branham was not a prophet Jesus would have told us to believe.
In the next section of their article, VGR begins the task of defending William Branham's false prophesy of the end of the world by 1977. As a prelude, they ask the question,
Four hundred years or four hundred and thirty years?
This is in reference to the view that before the exodus, Israel was in bondage to Egypt for 400 or 430 years (see Genesis 15:13 and compare to Exodus 12:40). Jews and Christians all over the world have wondered why the Bible seems to contradict itself when it suggests in one place they were there for 400 years, but later says it was 430 years. There are various explanations for this supposed discrepancy, but one in particular is in my opinion practically irrefutable. VGR, on the other hand, seems to believe there is indeed a contradiction that neither they nor biblical skeptics can answer. VGR asks:
Was God mistaken in what He said to Abraham? Or, did Moses miscalculate and the Hebrews were only really there for 400 years before he led them out? It’s a good question to ask the skeptic, especially one that would criticize Brother Branham for making a prediction that mentions the year 1977.
I won't take the time explaining it myself, but I recommend you watch this 12 ½ minute video which does a very good job explaining it. We will deal with the 1977 controversy next time.
Now for the section on William Branham's "prediction" of 1977. Rather than writing out my take on this false prophecy of his, I would like to direct you to the article I wrote which appears on my Website. Please see,
"Lord to Return in 1977."
In VGR's article, they offer two quotes which they say confirms that WMB did not actually prophesy the end of the world/ coming of the Lord/ rapture of the Church by 1977. Notice that they were made in 1960 and 1961. However, they did not include the quote where WMB wrote in the Church Ages book that his prediction was based on “Divine inspiration,” which would actually make it a "thus saith the Lord" prophecy.* WMB never mentioned "1977" again from the pulpit after he preached "The Seventieth Week of Daniel" in 1961. The Church Ages book was published in 1965, making it William Branham's final final statement on the 1977 prediction.
Next, VGR writes:
Brother Branham said what he said for a reason, and we might not understand it at this time, just as Israel might not have understood why they were still in Egypt after 401 years. How many of them would have lost faith when 400 years came and went, and they were still enslaved in a foreign land? Abraham and Moses were not in contradiction with 400 and 430 years, and neither was God’s prophet for this age when he predicted 1977.
Now, assuming you viewed the video in my last post, you will know that VGR is wrong when they say that Israel was enslaved in Egypt for 400 to 430 years. This understanding represents a true contradiction. But they deny that it's a contradiction simply by saying that it's not. They think that if you deny that a contradiction exists, it somehow goes away. And this is the only answer VGR and so many leaders of the Message have when WMB contradicts himself; they simply deny that he contradicted himself. What they can't do is explain why he didn't contradict himself. That is because they have no explanation. They are content to believe the Bible in explicitly contradicts itself, so they can justify that WMB did so, too.
VGR does not have a problem when they see what they believe are contradictions in the Bible. That's because they don't have a problem when their prophet contradicting himself.
*Interestingly, WMB has himself considered other "predictions" as "thus saith the Lord." See, "Prediction or Prophecy?"
Now for the installment on the Municipal Bridge. In this segment, VGR doesn't feel it necessary to throw the Bible under the bus to defend this false prophecy made by William Branham. Instead, they correctly suggest that there are some events recorded in Scripture which archeologists have yet to prove by the archeological record. We all know the truth behind the adage, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Just because we don't have physical evidence to prove certain biblical facts doesn't mean they're not true or that no evidence will eventually be found. Archeologists are continually discovering artifacts that offer evidence to biblical events that have never before been proven. Furthermore, there has never been an archeological find that contradicts the Bible.
Similarly, VGR makes the claim that, even though there is absolutely no evidence that 16 men fell to their deaths into the Ohio River during the construction of the Municipal Bridge, they can believe it happened because William Branham said so. As Bible-believers, we believe the self-verifying testimony of Scripture on the basis of the Holy Spirit witnessing to its truth in our hearts, but also because of its proven track record by the many discoveries of artifacts and documents found by historical researchers which affirm the truth of Scripture. Does William Branham have a similar track record by which we may conclude his word is trustworthy?
Recall that this article by VGR was written in 2012. Around that time, a young couple in the Message took it upon themselves to vindicate WMB's vision by researching all the documentation they could find on the building of the Municiple Bridge. Rather than vindicating WMB, they were disheartened to learn that there was no evidence of 16 men having died while building the bridge. They chronicled their research in their Website called, “Searching for Vindication,” where they published their findings in February, 2013.
I have written a short article which explains the fallacy of William Branham's vision, including references to “Searching for Vindication's” research. To save space here, please read it at:
Since there is no evidence that 16 men died during the bridge's construction, we have to depend on William Branham's word alone that it happened, which is exactly what VGR said:
The FACT is that Brother Branham saw a vision of 16 men falling to their deaths from the Municipal Bridge, and THEY DID. How do we know? For the same reason we know that there was a King David: Because the prophet said so; that is where our faith rests.
Has WMB given us reason to accept his word alone where no evidence exists? Well, first let's look at what WMB said about the prophecy. If you have read my article on this prophecy at my Website, you know he said he had the vision when he was a child playing marbles with his little brothers, which he also said happened about a month after he had his vision of the whirlwind in the poplar tree where a voice told him he would have a work to do when he got older. He said this was during Prohibition. Prohibition in the United States started in 1920 and ended in 1933. So, if WMB had the vision during Prohibition, then he would have been anywhere between 11 and 20 years old. Yet he said he had the vision 22 years before the bridge was built. Do the math: Something doesn't add up. If he was born in 1909 and the bridge was built in 1929, then he had the vision 2 years before he was born. But WMB said it was during Prohibition when he had the vision, meaning the vision could not have happened any more than 9 years before the bridge was built. Some people say that WMB wasn't good with dates and numbers. So why should we trust that he saw 16 men fall into the river? If this was the only time WMB contradicted himself or the facts, we might believe he made a mistake somewhere on when it happened, but that his vision was still true. But this wasn't the only time his story was so different from the facts. We have recorded many prophecies that he's made that did not come to pass as he predicted. You can see a list of them at my Website at:
It's bad enough that WMB made false prophecies, but he couldn't even testify to events in his life that actually happened the same way twice. He contradicted himself all the time. You can see several examples of that at my Website:
William Branham's past record of telling untruths, as well as contradicting himself in the events related to this vision, disqualifies him from being a credible witness that 16 men fell off the Municipal Bridge.
The Bible has stood the test of time that events contained therein can be believed by faith where evidence has yet to show up. William Branham has proven that he cannot be trusted to tell the truth because what can be proven often demonstrates that what he said was false. The evidence for the vision of the Municipal Bridge has no credibility simply because William Branham is the one who claimed it happened.
Here are my comments on VGR's last example of a William Branham incident which is fraught with problems. It concerns the issue of “The Supernatural Cloud.” I wrote an article that appears on my Website which addresses every issue which they identify as an area of contention by “the skeptics.” (See, "What Was the Attraction on the Mountain?").
Just as I have shown that apparent contradictions or problem areas in the Bible can be answered by various possible explanations, VGR attempts to do the same in answering the difficulties concerning the Cloud. But are their explanations good ones? I recommend you read my article for a full rebuttal to the Message's explanation of the Cloud, but I would like to briefly answer the few explanations they offer in the article:
VGR: This mysterious cloud was reportedly photographed on the evening of February 28, 1963 near Flagstaff, Arizona. Although scientists could not explain its formation...
Me (JK): It's not true that scientists could not explain its formation. James McDonald did offer an explanation for the Cloud. He just never definitively proved it having decided it was man-made in origin. Although it's possible that he might not have been able to prove it, he lost interest in trying when he learned that its existence corresponded to the missile detonation near Vandenberg AFB earlier that day.
VGR: ...the skeptics’ only reasonable explanation is that it must have been the result of a missile launch in western California, over 500 miles away. The cloud then must have drifted across California and into Arizona at a speed of 135mph with estimated wind speeds of about 95mph...
JK: That is misleading. Dr. McDonald did not say that the Cloud traveled from California to Arizona “with wind speeds of 95 mph.” He said the estimated wind speed of the Cloud at the time certain photos were taken from Lordsberg, New Mexico, were between 77 and 95 mph. See part of a discussion where I explain this at http://forums.delphiforums.com/kennah/messages/?msg=3418.10 . He never said how fast the Cloud was moving as during its entire trip from California.
VGR: ...while staying intact the entire distance, and without any reported sightings in one of the most populated areas of the world, during the middle of the day.
JK: I suppose what they mean by “intact” is that the Cloud didn't disperse and disappear. If you ask me, the Cloud is very much dispersed compared to how it would have looked at the time the rocket was launched. Also, how does VGR know that nobody saw the Cloud during the day as it traveled towards Arizona? In the daytime it would have looked like normal high cloudiness, if you could even see it at all through the atmosphere. It was only after the sun had set as it reached Flagstaff that it caught people's attention, because only then did it take on a mysterious glow in a darkening sky.
VGR: The photograph was supposedly taken on the evening of February 28, which they say is slightly before the javelina hunting season would have started in Arizona.
JK: That is an indisputable fact.
VGR: Although that date is right in the middle of today’s hunting season, and records of 1963 javelina hunting seasons are hard to find...
JK: I obtained a copy of the 1963 Javelina hunting regulations from the Arizona Game and Fish Department which you can see here.
VGR: ...they are trying to convince us that Brother Branham was not at Sunset Mountain when the cloud was photographed, which they think will cast doubt in our minds about what really happened.
JK: If WMB were in the wilderness at “Sunset Mountain” at the time the Cloud photo was taken, he would have been miles from civilization and could not have received the invitation to preach at Houston, Texas.
VGR: Yes, the skeptics could have the wrong date for the season. They might have Brother Branham’s schedule wrong. There could have been a special early hunting season that year.
JK: As anyone can see in the hunting regulations for March, 1963, javelina season ran from March 1-10. There was no special early hunting season for javelina provided by the regulations that year. William Branham's schedule for that time period was documented in Rebekah Branham-Smith's article in Only Believe magazine. He had not yet left for Sunset Mountain before he received the invitation to preach in Texas.
VGR: It’s even possible that the Angels were photographed on their way to Brother Branham...
JK: That's called the fallacy of special pleading, which means that when someone needs to explain an even that supposedly cannot be explained, an explanation which has no evidence is invented specially for that specific event. In other words, since the angels were not part of the explanation for the Cloud, and since William Branham was not at Sunset when the Cloud was photographed, Message Believers had to concoct an explanation that not even WMB suggested.
So, what do we conclude from all of this? While it's true that science cannot conclusively prove that the Cloud was not formed by 7 angels, there is no answer that Message Believers can provide that fit the facts we do know about it. Message Believers cannot explain the Cloud by anything William Branham himself said about it. In fact, they have to either ignore or explain away what WMB actually did say about it in order to make any sense of it at all. While there are possible answers to problem areas in the Bible which can explain apparent contradictions, all Message Believers have are William Branham's conflicting statements about angels and his hunting trip which no facts can support.
On the final page of VGR's article, they talk about The Websites. Of course, the Websites they're talking about are ones like this forum and our own Website, "William Branham and His Message." They say,
Various websites say Brother Branham was a false prophet and they give some really good arguments, so he must be.
So are the arguments we give really good ones? Well, the only really good arguments are ones that are based on Scripture. In Matthew 7:15, Jesus said, "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." That is a statement from our Savior Himself saying that false prophets will come and we will be able to identify and therefore beware of them. Notice that He says they will come in "sheep's clothing." That means they will present themselves as believers in Jesus. Jesus is warning us that we are to beware of "Christians" who are really false prophets. Paul gives a similar warning when he said,
And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.
(2 Corinthians 11:12-15)
We have a commandment by Jesus to be on guard against false prophets. If we are to beware of a false prophet, we have to know how to identify one. How? The Bible itself tells us how to identify a false prophet. Here are some examples:
And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously.
Here Moses says that there will be prophets who speak in the name of the Lord things that do not come to pass, which means they are speaking lies in the name of the Lord. Our Website and others document many false prophecies of WMB, of which only one is enough to qualify him as a false prophet (see, "Controversial Prophecies"). But predicting the future is not the only way a prophet can speak in the name of the Lord. Prophets also teach in His name. And a false prophet will teach false "revelations" as coming from the Lord. In other words, a false prophet's false revelations make God as much a liar as the false prophet's false prophecies (cf., Galatians 1:6-9). We have listed several teachings of WMB that do not originate from Scripture, and also contradicts Scripture (see, "Controversial Teachings").
False prophets also steal prophecies and teachings from other false prophets. The prophet Jeremiah said,
Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.
We know that WMB borrowed many of his "revelations" and "prophecies" from other false prophets and teachers who came before him, such as Cerinthus, Sibelius, Arius, Charles Taze Russell, Joseph Smith, Edgar Cayce, and others. Examples of this can be found throughout my Website, including the section called, "William Branham Quote Book." VGR ends their article, saying,
The Word of the prophets has never needed an explanation for why it is the truth, and neither does it today.
More specifically, the Word of the prophets of the Lord has never needed an explanation for why it is the truth. As we know from Scripture and history, not every prophet who claimed to have God's Word was a prophet of the Lord. God gave us ways to test the prophets so we would not listen to the false ones (And God held people responsible for listening to the false ones!). William Branham needs to be tested, and that's what we are doing on these Websites that VGR doesn't want you to read. They say we have some "really good arguments" to doubt the Message, but mere arguments aren't the reason we know William Branham was a false prophet. A good sounding argument could be wrong. We know he was a false prophet because the Bible tells us what a false prophet is, and WMB matched the biblical description in every respect. It's because he was a false prophet that VGR cannot glorify God by the Message, but has to dumb down the Bible in order to lift up WMB's false Message.
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