In the WHAS11 News coverage of William Branham and the Message, they aired a video clip in which Branham is seen vehemently voicing his prediction that the Second Coming of Jesus will happen in 1977. How do Message believers reconcile this claim with the fact that we’re living in 2012? By conveniently latching onto one word and spinning it out into a doctrine of its own.
“We have exactly – listen! – seventeen years left,” Branham said, in a definitive tone of voice.
My church taught that William Branham was human and fallible, except when he was “under the annointing” as he preached. On such occasions, he was filled with not only the Holy Spirit, but also the “spirit of Elijah,” which was never wrong. The result of this doctrine is this: Everything Branham predicted would happen was his fallible human self guessing. However, everything he prophesied was God speaking through him. His 1977 claim falls under the “prediction” category (because it was wrong). This means that it was a “mistaken human assumption” that can’t be used to discredit Branham as a prophet. Other statements that haven’t been proven wrong yet (although some have been proven plagiarized, such as his self-driving egg-shaped car vision) are described as “prophecies,” which means they are absolutely true and can be used as evidence that Branham is a prophet.
Basically, you’re not allowed to call Branham a liar. If he said anything wrong, he did it by himself and it was an honest mistake; but if he said anything right, it was God vindicating his ministry.