“WILLIAM BRANHAM” -- 2008.07.01
I have received a request for information concerning my “take” on William Branham. This is but one of many requests that have come my way over the years. Because this subject is so relevant to the times in which we live, I am quoting this latest request, with my response to it. As I trusted that my answer here would be helpful, so I trust that many of you will also find it helpful. Your friend, Jim Watt
Dear Jim & Marie -- I will be revealing my ignorance with this question -- but with you I'm safe! Tell me who William Branham is? What do I need to know about his Christian leadership? All I knew about him was that his name was familiar -- it rang a bell, but that was all. Looking forward to hearing from you. A big hug in Jesus to both of you -- a friend.
Before I start to say a few personal words on William Branham, may I first recommend that you do a “Google” Search on him. There you will find at the top of a very long list, one by “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.”
It is quite a long article, and under it are several others well worth while looking at. Under “References,” # 31 “New Wine Interviews Ern Baxter,” New Wine Magazine Dec. 1978.
At the bottom of this interview, is a note by Terry Virgo of England, a close friend of Baxter, “Ern Baxter Correcting the Balance.” It has to do with Virgo's interest in the Ministry of Men & Women in the last days. Virgo and Baxter were quite similar in opinions at this point, as well as Derek Prince. It points up the breadth of Ern Baxter's theological interests -- and insofar as he was Branham's Manager and Teacher from 1947 to 1953, it has indirect Christian importance.
I met Baxter in 1944, and became very close to him in Edmonton, Alberta in October 1948. In 1962 I became his
Associate Pastor at Surrey Christian Centre, BC for 3 years. During that time he resigned as Senior Pastor and joined with the 4 New Wine Ministries of Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Simpson, Prince, Mumford and Basham. It was during this time that the Interview took place between them and Baxter concerning his insights on Branham. He had previously shared this and much more with me while I was his associate.
In 1949 he introduced Marie and me to Branham, and we attended 50 of the Branham meetings while Baxter was his Teacher and Manager.
I agree with the general insights expressed by Baxter in this interview. Branham had a true Gift of Healing, but was a terrible teacher. I walked out on two of his meetings while he was teaching. Gordon Lindsey prior to Baxter, tried to get Branham not to teach, but was unable to do so. I believe it was for this reason that God took him home in 1965, before he could do more harm with his teaching.
Look at Samson: “A Saved man in the hands of Sin!” Branham was a Gifted ma
n who could not restrain himself from unscriptural teaching. God told Jeremiah, “If you take the precious from the vile, you shall be as my mouth,” Jeremiah 15:19. It is our responsibility not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. By all means rid yourself of Branham's teaching, but do retain him as God's gift to the Church through his Gift of Healing.
Trust this helps, especially the “Wikipedia” article.
Your friends -- Jim & Marie Watt