OF MODERN AMERICA
to use excerpts from this book. Copies may be obtained from:
We will in this page only give excerpts of Professor Harrell's history of the healing revivals as it relates to William Branham and the early days of the Revival. We will include brief excerpts concerning the "origins", the "Two Giants", and "the flowering" of the Revival. We highly recommend this book for those who are seeking to better understand the Revival of the 1940's, 50's and 60's. The author presents in simple language, an easy to read, clear, concise picture of the revivals - written with respect.
Professor Harrell's book contains a wealth of information, giving a very unbiased account of what went on within the ranks of the Healing and Charismatic Revivals of Modern America. I would encourage interested readers to check with their local bookstore to obtain a copy. It is still in print and available from the Indiana University Press. If unable to obtain a copy through your local bookstore contact the Publishers of this Home Page at the Email address below.
In the "Preface" of his book Professor Harrell stated...
Professor Harrell is to be complimented for his literary expertise. His account of the acts and actions of the Revivalists and the Revival is 'refreshing' in it's honest, straight-forward manner. For someone who "does not share the presuppositions of the charismatic revivalists" of whom he writes, Professor Harrell produced an expository masterpiece. There is absolutely no hint of the bias or prejudice that is sometimes found in accounts written by participants or open religious opponents of the Revival.
In his book in 'Part One - Prayer For The Sick', Professor Harrell stated...
During the early part of the Revival the emphasis in William Branham's ministry was also on "Signs and Wonders" - healing the sick and raising the dead. But according to Brother Branham, God was doing this to get the attention of the people for a Message (the Revealing of the Mysteries of the Word) which would follow that Revival. Eventually, William Branham told the Revivalists that too much emphasis was being placed on Healing and not enough on Salvation. In 1961 the Angel who had appeared to William Branham many times throughout his life, came and told him that the people were "leaning on the sign post" and not believing as they ought to. Off course, this was the result of the emphasis which MOST of the Evangelists placed on "signs and wonders" for so long.
Referring to the dedication of the Evangelists, Professor Harrell said...
These hard-working, dedicated Evangelists were the links in a revival that the Evangelical religious world would never forget and would NEVER SEE AGAIN. Memories and written records of this revival create a longing in the hearts of men and women for another move just like that one. But in the words of William Branham, "The Gentile world has seen it's last world-wide Revival.....I know you're looking for it but the next is for the Jews". Never again would the world witness the rise of such powerful ministries as Professor Harrell mentioned above. Never again would the Evangelistic world "recapture the uniform and spontaneous milieu of the early meetings of the Revival." Today, Evangelistic campaigns and Evangelists have become more stereotyped, more staged, and more professional. William Branham called it, "Hollywood Evangelism - merely emotional in their approach, or desirous of something physical rather than desiring that which is truly Spiritual", causing them to 'line up with every Word of God'. - programs and entertainment replaced the spontaneous moving of the Holy Spirit and Worship.
Most the Evangelists who took part in the Revival of the 1940's, 50's and early 60's were a different breed. They were men of 'faith not programs'. They were inspired, not by Hollywood, but by the ministries of those whom God had used since the turn of the twentieth century - such men as Alexander Dowie, Smith Wigglesworth, F. F. Bosworth and Charles Price. Of course Aimee Simple Mcpherson is not without due recognition for the part which she played. Professor Harrell guides us along the path to the "great revival" of the twentieth century, introducing us to these Evangelists who paved the way for others to follow. The last of these Evangelists was Charles Price - he passed away in 1947, leaving a vacuum in the Divine Healing ministry.
On Page 20 of the Professor's book we read.....
In 1947 the 'great revival' erupted, giving the new rain of miracles for which the young had yearned. On page 21 a comparison is made between the previous revival and the 'new' out-pouring that was now breaking on the world.....
William Branham spoke of the years "1947 - 1953" (the years of mighty signs and wonders) as "God's memorial of seven years". Referring to his own ministry he said, "...The reason He (God) has brought me in of the field and set me down, I believe it's His memorial, seven years - He's going to raise up another bracket, go on a little further. "When the enemy comes in like a flood", He said, "I'll raise up a standard against it."
The "another bracket" was reference to another phase of his ministry. From 1946(7) - 1953 was a period of "signs and wonders", previously witnessed only in the Ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. From 1953 - 1960 Brother Branham began to lay in doctrine - straightening out those areas where the churches had strayed from the Word. From 1960 - 1965 were years of "deeper teaching" and multiplied visions, laying in the Church Ages of Revelation chapters 1 - 3; a series on "The Spoken Word Is the Original Seed"; The Prophecy Of Daniel, etc.; and the Crowning series was the Revelation of the Seven Seals of Revelation chapters 4 - 10. The "Standard" he spoke of was of course "The Word".
In the prologue of his book "All Things Are Possible", Professor Harrell mentions TWO Evangelists - one of whom he singles out as the "leader" or "initiator" of the revival. On Page 25 he states...
Yes, William Branham was an unlikely leader indeed. But, when we look into the Scriptures we find that most of the men whom God used were "unlikely leaders". William Branham certainly didn't go looking for this position or the ministry he possessed. He never asked God for it - but rather, it was sovereignly ordained of God. He never asked God to send an Angel to him with this Commission to spearhead a Worldwide Revival. It was God's choosing. Of all the Evangelists William Branham stood apart - he was unique in his calling, his humility, his gifts, his ministry AND his Message.
On Page 26, Harrell spoke of the other ministries who became known around the world as each played his part in the Revival...
As Professor Harrell interviewed hundreds of those who participated in the Revival, one story was added to another, producing volumes of information. But it was easy to identify the "Two Giants" who stood out from among all the others - it was of course, William Branham and Oral Roberts. As already noted above he singled out William Branham as the one who spearheaded this great revival. In Chapter Three of his book he expounds more fully on these "Two Giants". He begins with a quote by Gordon Lindsay about William Branham:
Of course the Angel came to Brother Branham, not once, but many times throughout his life. William Branham was just seven years old when he first heard the Angel speak to him. It was also at the age of seven years that he received his first vision - Incidents such as these indicate the sovereignty of God in bestowing this unique prophetic ministry on William Branham.
Contrary to what other participants in the Revival would lead you to believe, GOD DID KNOW WHAT HE WAS DOING. Brother Branham was accused by many of the other Evangelists of "going off into error in his teachings", when in reality, it was the others who were in error and God had sent this prophetic ministry to bring them back to the Truth but they refused to listen.
From the time of that first supernatural encounter, the Angel remained with Brother Branham, guiding and directing his ministry from one phase to another. In 1963, Seven Angels appeared to him with his Final Commission.
On page 29, Chapter Three of his book, Professor Harrell said:
Not one of William Branham's visions and/or prophecies ever failed. In discerning the "thoughts and intents" of the hearts of thousands, never one time was it wrong. Thousands were influenced and inspired by the ministry of this Kentucky hillbilly. The "common people heard him gladly", so said a former manager of Brother Branham's meetings. But he went on to say that the more affluent members of the clergy were 'embarrassed' with Brother Branham's simplicity of speech. Yet there were others who were greatly blessed by this man's simple, humble ways. On page 30 of his book, Professor Harrell points out that.....
Such was the impact that William Branham had on many of the people he met. They stood in awe of his humility, simplicity of faith and the "power and authority" he exercised (in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ) over demon powers, unclean spirits, sickness and disease. Evangelists T. L. Osborn said, "Here was a man who was practicing what we were preaching (Mark 11:23). He spake as one with authority"
Another observer in the early 50's wrote, "The trait which most impressed Branham's audiences and won the respect of his colleagues was his "outstanding humble spirit. There is nothing boisterous or arrogant about him. He is a meek and humble man... He is a man loved by all. No one begrudges him any of his success or is envious of his great popularity." Professor Harrell stated: "And yet, the power of a Branham service - and of Branham's stage presence - remains a legend unparalleled in the history of the charismatic movement.
One observer wrote: I marveled at the simplicity of these messages as brought by his humble servant. It will always be remembered how he spoke with the voice of authority and yet in a gentle way pleaded with sinners to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and then turning to the Christians, he would exhort them to line up with the Word of God and be prepared, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
This is further confirmed by Professor Harrell's statement on page 36.....
Exactly! He demonstrated in every way the 'signs' of a Prophet - a seer; Time after time, when praying for the sick. Incidents of their lives - past, present and future, would unfold before William Branham, by way of visions. Concerning God's Prophets the Bible says in Amos 3:7, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Again in 2nd Chronicles 20:20 it says, "...Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper." An end time generation will be judged because they refused to "hear the voice (message) of God's prophet.
History testifies of the fact that God has sent a prophet, with an "open-vision" ministry to "turn the hearts" of a religious world back to the True Word of God. One day the words of Professor David Edwin Harrell, Jr. will rise in judgment against a generation that refuses to "Believe His (God's) prophet, so shall ye be established". Indeed, I believe Professor Harrell was an instrument in the hand of God, to present to the world an unbiased, unprejudiced, straight-forward, honest account of the prophetic ministry He sent to this Twentieth Century.
On page 38 of his "History of the Charismatic and Healing Revival of Modern America", Professor Harrell continues his narrative.....
After attending one of Brother Branham's meetings and witnessing the ' unique power and anointing' upon the man, Daisy Osborn returned home and said to her husband, T. L. Osborn, "This night I saw Jesus Christ in flesh". She was over-whelmed with the ministry she witnessed. Bro. T. L. Osborn was determined to witness this for himself. Sitting in the meeting he found himself surrounded by ministering brethren who were critical of Brother Branham. But when the prayer line started, Bro. Osborn was absolutely awed by the "results" which Brother Branham produced with his "quiet, humble manner" of praying for the sick - speaking and commanding evil spirits of disease, in a quiet, almost whispering voice. In his own words, Bro. Osborn said, "Before I got 'prayed up' the work was done".
But alas, this ministry was not to continue with the same momentum with which it had started. The people were beginning to lean on 'sign posts' and they wouldn't believe unless they saw a 'sign'. The more they saw, the more they wanted. In 1955 Brother Branham was again visited by the Angel from the Lord; this time he was informed that there was coming a change in his ministry. He was also told that this final phase of his ministry "would not be a public show like the first and second phases, with the sign in his hand and discerning the thoughts of the heart."
In 1961 the Angel told Brother Branham, "You are catering too much too the people with these signs." From the mid 1950's to the end of his ministry in December 1965, the emphasis was now on the Doctrines the the Bible, calling men, women, and churches to repentance and to line up with the Truth. Indeed, this was not a public show.
On page 159-160 of his book Professor Harrell explained that...
Yes, it was from 'one point of view' he had 'passed the peak of his career'. But a more closer and through look at the man and his ministry from the late 1950's to December 1965, reveal that what happened in his ministry was "all part of a plan". He knew the separation that was coming between him and the other participants of the Revival. On June 26th. 1956 he warned the Full Gospel Businessmen International concerning the "charismatic-Ecumenical" direction they were taking. In 1961 the Angel told Brother Branham that to walk with God, he would walk alone. On January 23rd. and 26th. 1963 Brother Branham again rebuked and warned the Full Gospel Businessmen's International for it's denomination spirit.
The message he preached on January 23, 1963 was entitled, "Identification". Near the end of the Message he was calling out against the direction Pentecostals and the FGBMI were going. A prophecy comes forth from the audience confirming what Brother Branham was saying on the platform.
Perhaps Professor Harrell was not fully aware of ALL that happened in William Branham's ministry and ALL that William Branham had to say about 'that' revival. Yet, considering the volumes of information he had to glean through and the fact that he "does not share the religious pre-suppositions of the Revivalists", I feel that he presented the material as accurate as he could. In his historical representation of William Branham, I (as a believer in that Ministry) found only a very few paragraphs which indicated Professor Harrell's words or an Observer's quotes, lacked a full understanding of the "Scriptural purpose" of Brother Branham's Ministry and Message.
In Chapter 7, entitled, "Innovators And New Breeds", Professor Harrell stated.....
No disrespect is intended to the author of the book "ALL Things Are Possible", or some of the other individuals quoted in the book; but I wonder whether or not some of the people of Jesus' day would come to the same conclusions about Jesus Himself in His day. Especially, in the light of His very controversial life, ministry and doctrines - First a great prophet with great signs and wonders, then a man who had gone of into error - at least that's what the religious leaders said. Maybe some would say that Jesus' death saved Him from obscurity or further scandal. Pause, think and ponder these things in your heart - history repeats itself over and over again.
For those who are interested in a further account of the relationship between
William Branham, the Latter Rain Movement, other Revivalists,
and the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International from 1948 - 1963,
I refer you to the following link...
8 Centennial Sq., Box 3
Mt. Pearl, NL. A1N 2C1