From The Archives: Finland Pt 9

The following is part 9 of our series on the 1950 Publication HYVÄ SANOMA (Good Tidings), originally written in Finnish and now translated into English.

A joint front in Norway for the freedom of religion

The Christians in Norway have stood up together to defend the freedom of religion. All the religious leaders of the country, bishop E. Berggrav, professor O. Hallesby, missionary leader Ludvig Hope, and the commander of the Salvation Army in the front line have assembled in a private meeting as well as in the afternoon to a large public protest meeting. There they agreed on a protest statement addressed to the Prime Minister Gerhardsen and the government, and it has been published through Norway’s telegram office.

The statement contains a strong protest against the prevention of the meetings by Rev. Branham by the police force, says the leader of Oslo’s Filadelfia Church Paul Paulsen. The Christians of Norway take the refusal as an attack against Christian speech in Norway, and they hold fast that healing is part of the Gospel. The police action is interfering with the freedom of religion that a democratic country must have. They strictly demand that the police restrictions will be cancelled immediately so that Branham can freely operate.

The papers have noticeably changed their attitude. Once rash papers are now using different language, and you can clearly feel the change in understanding for the demand for freedom of religion by the Christians.

The large protest meeting in Bethlehem Church formed into a great victory for the Pentecostal movement in Norway and for the healing services.

Over 200 preachers from all the different denominations in Norway had come together and unanimously accepted the resolution sent to the Norwegian government. The moment was historical, when every Christian of Norway lay to guard the biblical truths. In the end the pastor of the Filadelfia Church spoke on the urge of the meeting. His performance formed into a warm thank you from the Norwegian Pentecostals to fellow believers for the united attitude the meeting confirmed.

The resolution explains that the refusal violates the human rights in a free country and fights against the principals of practising religion. Healing by faith and prayer is evangelical and is clearly connected with the life and actions of Jesus Christ and it has a natural place in Christian life and religious declaration. The resolution urges the government to overrule the restrictions immediately against Branham’s actions. From the “Dagen” newspaper.


Someone has written of the world of evil eyes. As a mirror of a cold, hard, judgemental and unbelieving heart. One wouldn’t have believed that these kinds of eyes were seen in meetings of Branham in Messuhalli, but they were, in our friends – the newspaper men and women.

Freeman operated as a sort of a lightning rod in Finland a while back, though he himself could not make it here. We all must remember the desecrate series of articles that went around the press in such content that he was not given a visa for the country. Ungodly as well as the religious world aroused such a noise about it that in the end perhaps they themselves were ashamed and maybe regretted it.

Thus Brother Branham came to the country without great fuss and the meetings were started in all quietness. We firmly warned the people not to bring weak sick people to the meetings. For several days we were able to enjoy our meetings in peace and many sick people got healed. But the devil didn’t want to look at that for too long! He alarmed his forces, and soon we were able to read from several papers what awful things were going on in Messuhalli. The editor of “Vaasa” paper wanted to go into action with prohibition against these “cultural enemies.” In the paper Democrat, there were supposedly scientist complaining how stupid people are when they take God into consideration in their lives, He whom they had rejected long time ago!

But there were different papers too, those who matter-of-factly and respectfully told what was going on. Their representatives did not seek for the cases where the sick person did not get healed, but they saw and noted those that did happen. They were honest representatives of their field and we must acknowledge them.

But how do these untruthful reporters manage in front of the thinking nation, now that the results are starting to show? In this paper alone there has been around twenty healing cases and we will get more. How can the papers expect that the other reporters would be accountable, when they in this matter gave completely false and untruthful report? Or is it too humiliating to cancel all that you have written? That would be, however, the right way, a way where the press could win back at least a little bit of the respect they lost in the eyes of our Christians.

The Evangelical paper wrote with a headline: “God has come to see His people” placing them in support of the ministry of Brother Branham. The Lutheran paper “Word” took a little observing break and strongly defended these well-liked meetings. Pastor Murto wrote an article in the paper called “The frontiers are shaping” which was devoted to a biblical perspective on faith. He warns people not to take the spirit of the high priests and says these meetings were a serious wakening call for our nation as well as for the church. “We are on the edge of things. The frontiers are shaping. Where is your place?” he asks. Another Lutheran paper “Kotimaa” does not know what to do since they can’t give any credit, but are embarrassed to deny it. So they wrote one article for it, and in another article they warn of the spirit of heresy in Messuhalli.

On May 15th appeared in the paper “Kotimaa” a miserable picture of the ministers’ meeting of priests in Helsinki, where they had discussed the Branham meetings. When you read that, it brings to my mind the arguing they often had around Jesus. John 7:12. Others said, “He’s good,” but other said, “No He’s not, He only agitates the people.”

Doctor M. Juva thinks that Branham had used soulful powers that are not usually used. And that Branham’s actions were boosted by a huge propaganda gear. (Who did that? Not those who arranged the meetings for sure.) The same Mr. Juva claims that Branham leaves outside of healing, the blind and crippled. (Even this accusation is not true, since crippled and blind people were healed and there were proofs of such cases in the ministers’ meeting of these priests, but I guess they did not present them.) By the way, what is this soulful power these doctors and priests are talking about? Let them show in person who has such powers! Branham was able to talk to the microphone the entire time, when the sick person came to him and without looking at the person, tell whether they were believers or not and what was their disease they had. Is it so incomprehensively hard to acknowledge that this was a God-given gift that appeared?

And then Pastor O. Päivänsalo claimed that Branham’s appearance had diminished the value of the Bible. Pastor Voitto Viro hoped that Branham could’ve had meetings in the Lutheran church and Pastor M. Alaja thought that, “We all should have gone to listen Branham and learn.” Dean Valtasaari said the most glaring words, when it came to the suggestion of Voitto Viro, that had Branham been taken to the Lutheran church to speak, “With a whip would’ve Jesus cast Branham out.” Pastor Airas on the other hand could not understand why the priests couldn’t have gone to listen to Branham.

There was quite a storm in the meeting. Some of them seemed to have suddenly got their eyes opened and looked around with amazement. But the old spirit of the high priests is still living in some people…. It’ll be interesting to see if the stream will go back into its old path after the stir, or will it perhaps lead some people to the road of obedience of faith, which is a road of shame, but also the road of blessings.

What will the doctors say, since there have been many of them in the meetings as well? Christian doctors respect the work of God, and the unbelieving dishonour it. One of them said, “They took with them 40 million!” So is that what it’s all about for them, doctor’s fees? Who would pay them?!! Wasn’t it about some, whom they were not able heal, getting help? They need not to worry so much about losing their patients. There’s more than enough sickness in this sinful world to cover their income.

I have to wonder, that as cultural people as the doctors are, they are not aware that foreigners can’t take money out of the country. It’s the law. And for myself I can say that before anyone had ever hinted about the money, they offered both Branham and Lindsay royalties for the books they had written, which made up to several ten thousands (Finnish marks), and neither one of them accepted it. The money was given to missionary work and it never touched their hands. But he who comes up with the lies, tells the things so, how he himself would’ve done it if possible and could’ve done according to his own will. But our guests were not after money.

Someone started a rumour that one may buy tickets to the Kuopio meetings, but they are very expensive, 1000 – 5000 FIM (Finnish markka currency), but the interesting thing was that no one asked for proof that anyone would’ve paid for them! They automatically believed it when it was something negative. But when a person that has had crutches lays them aside with leg prosthesis then they says, “Give me a medical testimonial! This person has never been sick!” And when a blind person starts to see they ask, “Has he ever been blind after all?”

Jesus once said, “How could you believe, you, that take glory from one another but do not seek for the glory that comes from Him, who alone is God?”

But the truth in the Gospel of Jesus, who died for our sins, is still true when the Word assures that He bore our sicknesses as well to the cross. This truth will break through Finland and Scandinavia, and throughout the entire world. It is like a “loose lion” that will attack in the midst of this unbelieving world. But the good God in His great love has arranged it so that there will be people everywhere who receive their healing through a prayer of faith. That person is like a pillar in the surrounding nation. Even the smile of a scoffer will fade when a brave witness will step forward telling what the Lord has done. This also happened in a bus coming to Helsinki. Two gentlemen were mocking the Messuhalli meetings. A lady interrupted them saying, “Gentlemen, do not be so high and mighty! Have you been there yourself?” They responded, “No, we haven’t.” She said, “But I have been, and I’m also a living witness of what the Lord does. I received my hearing back to my ear that has been deaf since my childhood, and here’s a person in this vehicle that can prove it.”

The mocking ceased, talking paused. The gentlemen were ashamed.

We will post the conclusion of our series – With Brother Kunnas’ own opinion of Brother Branham and the meetings – on Tuesday of next week.