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Deep Study

 

With the prophecies proving to be either failures or moving targets, we can no longer call William Branham a prophet of God. With the supernatural events and "commissions" proven to be contradictions, we can no longer call William Branham a man sent by God. With the scriptures altered to fit the context of the sermons rather than the Word of God, we can no longer call William Branham a Bible teacher. And with the visions of God's healing power failing, we cannot call William Branham a divine healer.

 

What we are left with is a motivational speaker, and one must ask themselves: Did William Branham motivate you to study the scriptures for yourselves, or did he motivate you to study what he himself told you about those same scriptures?

 

The only way to determine this is to examine what William Branham taught concerning scripture. If his teachings do not match the Word of God, then we can no longer call William Branham motivating with regards to our spiritual growth.

 

Physical Abuse

 

Some say that Branham's strongest statements against women started to surface during the latter part of his ministry. But if you examine the messages promoting physical abuse, you will begin to ask yourself if there were deep-rooted psychological issues long before his ministry started. All of the statements promoting injury and molestation have one thing in common: they are describing the beating of women.

 

His instructions for abuse went far beyond normal child correction, and often included instructions for the wife:

 

Now, you can take some of these little two-by-fours if you want to, but that's what God said. That's what Christ said. Now, that's the truth. Oh, God be merciful. What must the great Holy Spirit think when He comes before the Father? You say, "Why you picking on us women?" All right, men, here you are. Any man that'll let his wife smoke cigarettes and wear them kind of clothes, shows what he's made out of. He's not very much of a man. That's exactly right. True. He don't love her or he'd take a board and blister her with it. You know that's the truth. Now, I don't say that to be smart. I'm telling you the truth. That's right.

58-0324 HEAR.YE.HIM

 

Branham would often describe how he would beat his daughters if they were caught sunbathing, and offer praise to others who would do the same to their children. His tool of choice was a "barrel slat," which is a thick piece of wood used to construct whiskey barrels. Interestingly, a company that produces these barrels is within short distance to his home in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

 

He would often describe the after-effects of the beatings, rendering the woman bedridden for several months or having skin so badly beaten that they could not clothe themselves. Usually these statements were followed by either praise for the beating or telling the congregation that they should do the same.

 

Sadly, some have.

 

Hybreeding

 

Following Branham's teachings, most churches in the religious following of William Branham do not permit couples of a different race to enter into marriage. Because the teaching was so strongly against the African-American race specifically and very rarely used in the context of other races, some churches make exceptions to allow marriage between other races. Most agree that William Branham considered this to be "hybreeding," or "mixing seed."

 

Paul says in Galatians, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28). We are to view other Christians as one of us, not "us versus them." This is not limited to what we consider to be prejudice — this saying applies to every single aspect of life. If we feel that another human being is any different than us, for any reason, then we are filled with the sin of pride.

 

By example, most pastors who promote racism use the Old Testament Law to push their agendas. Since many in the congregations do not take time to study and learn the Law, and the need for a Kinsman Redeemer, they are easily fooled. Snipped out of context, the Old Testament seems to be a book filled with racism.

 

But it was more about nationality than it was race, color of skin, or even heritage. God was creating a nationality, using them as an example for all mankind. The Apostle Paul called the Jews and the Mosaic Law "A Tutor," showing us that mankind can never save themselves by themselves, and needed a Savior. God was preparing a people to bring His Son into the world.

 

And the world was much different than it is now. Filled with idolatry, temple prostitution, human sacrifice and more, God gave clear instruction to keep His people separated from the evil world and its evil ways. Deuteronomy 7 tells us the reason God was preparing a nation, and it was not because of color of skin:

 

"You shall not be afraid of them but you shall remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand, and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So will the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. Moreover, the Lord your God will send hornets among them, until those who are left and hide themselves from you are destroyed. You shall not be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little. You may not make an end of them at once, lest the wild beasts grow too numerous for you. But the Lord your God will give them over to you and throw them into great confusion, until they are destroyed. And he will give their kings into your hand, and you shall make their name perish from under heaven. No one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them. The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction."

Deuteronomy 7:18-26

 

But remember, God also does not want His children to fall to the sin of pride. While telling Israel that they would be more than conquerors in the Name of the One True God, that their enemies would fall at their feet, God wanted them to know that it had nothing to do with themselves. It wasn't about them — it was about God:

 

“Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you. Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess their land, but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out from before you, and that he may confirm the word that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."

Deuteronomy 9:4-5

 

Pastors who try to enforce their racist agenda through twisted scripture will give you portions of scripture that seem to support false teaching, but to teach anything contrary to the Divine Will of God, you must omit huge portions of scripture. As Israel plundered the nations, absolutely everything that they pillaged in the cities of Baal were theirs for the taking — including the women of the city:

 

"But the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the Lord your God has given you."

Deuteronomy 20:14

 

"When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her."

Deuteronomy 22:10-14

 

Why would God do this? Is God evil? Did God want the Jews to become filled with the sin of pride, while God's Word tells us that pride is sinful? Absolutely not. Deuteronomy 20 tells us exactly why God permitted this, immediately after telling them that the women of other races were theirs for the taking:

 

"That they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the Lord your God."

Deuteronomy 20:18

 

These women, taken into the nation of Israel, produced mixed race, but not mixed nationality. Israel was STILL the nation to bring forth the Christ child — though the people of Israel were made up of what these racist pastors would call "hybrid people."

 

There was one part of the law that did discriminate, but if you study it, you'll find that it was more for their protection. God does not discriminate, and the blood of the world came through the blood of one man according to scripture.

 

God did not want the enemy nations to plant evil men or women into the nation with the purpose of overthrowing the Jews. Balaam (who Branham claimed to have "the same anointing as Moses) was a sorcerer whose power was used against the Jewish nation. God protected his children through the Mosaic Law:

 

“No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the Lord. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the Lord forever, because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you."

Deuteronomy 23:3-4

 

“To the tenth generation.”

 

When confronted with the observation that Moses, Solomon, and others had black wives, these racist pastors start quoting Old Covenant Law in rebuttal. They try to enforce portions of the Law, while omitting other portions of Law. They do not uphold Laws concerning stoning those that disobey, women on their periods, huge portions of the tithing system, celebrations of the Sabbath, and more. Yet they try to base their entire racist agenda on Law, instead of the New Covenant of Grace that is Christianity.

 

There is another passage of scripture that you will not find preached from behind the pulpits of churches whose pastors push racist agenda. It is found in the book of James, and it is concerning these men who try to enforce part of the Law while disobeying other parts of the Law:

 

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

James 2:8-13

 

Creation

 

According to William Branham, the creation story in the Bible was written in symbol, and the full truth was hidden in mystery. Branham taught his followers to believe that Jesus was simply an angel, equal to Satan, and God's creation did not include the female in the Garden. The woman, according to Branham, was designed by Satan to deceive, and was nothing more than a bi-product of man. Because of this design, Branham taught the original sin as being the fault of Eve instead of Adam — though she was deceived, she was constructed by Satan for that purpose.

 

While he promoted the idea that Irenaeus was a "messenger" sent from God, and Irenaeus condemned the doctrine, Branham's version of the creation story included teachings found in Kabbalah regarding the original sin. Though the book of Genesis describes the trees as being good "for food," Jewish mysticism describes the original sin as being sexual intercourse between the serpent and Eve. According to Kabbalah, this union between man and beast produced the "evil son (Cain), while Adam's relations with Eve produced his brother (Abel). Without disclosing the origin of this doctrine, William Branham promoted the idea that this teaching was fundamental for the faith of the "Bride" during the last days.

 

To choose this doctrine, you must accept the Gnostic idea that God created hidden meanings between the lines of scriptures, ultimately denying Paul's words in 2 Corinthians 13, "Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can't understand." Paul was very clear in his writings that faith in Jesus Christ was the only key that unlocks the door to salvation, and that we are to look to the blood of Christ instead of the bloodlines of mankind.

 

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Acts 17:26

 

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God's work — which is by faith

1 Timothy 1:3-4

 

 

Genesis 1 26-28 tells us that woman was in the original creation, and that God was her creator. Before the original creation was instructed not to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were instructed to mate and reproduce — raising several questions in Branham's teaching that Eve learned about procreation through the sinful desires of the serpent:

 

Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Genesis 1:27-28

 

At the same time, while referring to the "fruit" and the "eating of the fruit" as sexual intercourse, you must accept the idea that God allowed Adam to "eat" of any of the other "fruits" in the garden — raising several questions with regards to Adam and the other animals in the garden:

 

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die."

Genesis 2:15-17

 

Ultimately, you are given a choice: To believe that the Bible is correct, and that the fruit was "good for food," or that the Bible was incorrect, and filled with sexual innuendo. Branham chose the latter, claiming that verse six of chapter three did not actually mean "food," but rather, "sexual intercourse."

 

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:6

 

Interestingly, if you follow Branham's teaching with regards to the eating of fruit, you are placed into a strange situation when you reach the end of the Bible. In the book of Revelation, the reader who has been trained to believe that the "eating of the tree" was sexual intercourse must ask themselves questions as to the nature of the "eating" of the tree of life:

 

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Revelation 2:6-8

 

Enoch

 

William Branham included several teachings from the Gnostic Book of Enoch in his sermons, choosing mysticism's "Enoch" instead of the Biblical Enoch that was translated after 365 years of life on this earth. Often, Branham would compare the mystic Enoch to the "Church," and his translation to his version of the rapture.

 

Instead of three hundred and sixty five years, the Book of Enoch describes an Enoch with a much longer span of life. Included in the scrolls of this Gnostic book were fragments of the Book of Noah, which give a fictional account of Enoch conversing with Noah. These scrolls claim that Enoch was translated after five hundred years.

 

Branham claimed that there were three Bibles: The Zodiac, the Pyramids, and the King James Version. Enoch, Branham claimed, formed the second Bible by constructing the pyramids. From Branham's point of view, the Masonic teachings regarding the pyramids were hidden truths for all of the elect to receive.

 

As to the question whether or not the Gnostic version of Enoch was a nugget hidden for the last days, the Book of Genesis sums up the entire doctrine in one simple statement:

 

Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years.

Genesis 5:22-24

 

The Book of Enoch is an interesting read, however, to any that have been influenced by the teachings of William Branham. During the early stages of his ministry, very few were familiar with this scroll that was written by the early Gnostics. The Book of Enoch was translated from the Ethiopian text by R.H. Charles in 1906, and began making its way through the English-speaking nations not long after.

 

Job

 

The book of Job is included in the list of the greatest literature of all time. This book of the Old Testament is written in the form of a didactic poem posing one of the world's oldest questions: Why do the righteous suffer?

 

The Christian version of this book is written in very simple poetic structure, with chapters 1 and 2 being the prologue. The middle portion of the book is written in open dialog between Job, Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and later Elihu, and then the dialogue between Yahweh and Job. The last chapter of the book is written as an epilogue, bringing an end to a perfectly written book that many in the world — even non-Christians — are familiar with.

 

In the Christian version, Job is simply a righteous man that God has allowed Satan to test. But in the Islamic version of this book, Ayyub [Job] is a prophet:

 

BEHOLD, We have inspired thee [O Prophet] just as We inspired Noah and all the prophets after him - as We inspired Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and their descendants, including Jesus and Job, and Jonah, and Aaron, and Solomon;

Quran S-4:163

 

Interestingly, Branham also claims that Abraham purchased a burial plot near the location of Job's tomb. While Abraham and Sarah are buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs, very little is known about Job's burial tomb or even Job's lifespan as compared to other Bible fixtures. The only piece of information we have the name of the land, Uz, which is mentioned in the book of Job. Uz is identified with Edom in scripture, which lies in southwestern Jordan as compared to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, West Bank.

 

According to Braham, Job was a prophet whose fame had spread through the land. In his version of Job, the accusers were part of a great number of people that came from the East and the West to hear the Word from the Lord spoken through Job, because his future predictions were accurate. While the Christian Bible focused on the faithfulness of God, The version Branham promoted with elements from Islam was focused upon prophecy.

 

As the drama unfolded, Branham claimed that Job tried and was unable to get inspiration; while Job tried to produce a vision, Satan hindered his ability to peer into the future. In the climax of the story, Job was finally able to put himself out of the way enough to see a vision, and that vision was powerful enough to stop Satan's tormenting.

 

Moses

 

In the late 1600's and early 1700's, a "mystic woman" by the name of Jane Lead published a series of prophecies that some believe to have been foretelling the "Latter Rain Movement." In a series of visions, Lead describes a god that was hidden in mystery that was to be revealed by prophets and prophetesses. According to the series of visions, this future "restorer prophet" would bring restoration to both the church and to the fallen angels. Like Moses, this coming prophet was to begin the next Exodus.

 

To those familiar with Gnosticism and the worship of "mysteries," "angels," communication with the dead, and other practices of the occult, Lead's religious movement that was called "The Philadelphia Society" would seem to be a religious cult filled with the worship of elemental spirits. But to the follower of William Branham, her prophecies will seem much more Divinely inspired — they seem to be promoting not only the coming "Messenger," but also his "Message."

 

Now the third side of the Mount that lay Eastward, was also described to me by the Guardian Angel that kept the 3 Gates; that each Gate gave entrance into three several Courts. The First was to be filled with Prophets and Prophetesses, that were disciplin'd and train'd up there, by the great head Prophet Christ Jesus. Who was accompanied with all the Ancient Prophets, as with Moses and Samuel, Elias and all that were from the Foundation of the World, to Christ's time.

The Ascent To The Mount Of Vision, Jane Lead

 

It must be so, for a time, and time, and half time, and then the finishing of the Transgression and Sin will be: For then will Christ the eternal Root of Righteousness, in all, and over all, spring: So, as an Universal Restoration to all fallen Angels and Spirits, in Bodies, and out, will by Christ the quickening Spirit be set free.

A Communication between the Saints above and the Saints below, Jane Lead

 

The second Gift is to have the Gift of Revelation opened as a spring that flows with Heavenly Doctrine for a true Teaching-Ministry to go forth with, to give feeding from a fresh Pasture, which hath not been defiled by unwashed Feet; the Holy Spirit do now in some foretell such Principal Shepherds are now to stand in this Latter Day upon the Earth, that shall not speak from Literal Tradition, but from the Revelation of the Holy-Anointing, the pure, and most excellent words of Wisdom, which will not be in the weakness of the Letter, but in the strength and power of the Spirit so made known.

Enochian Walks With God, Jane Lead

 

It was Lead who established the fundamental ideas of Dispensationalism, promoting the idea that there were "ages" separating this time that between Christ's resurrection and His second coming. Though her Philadelphia Society has been long forgotten, her teaching emerged through John Darby, who many describe as the "father" of Dispensationalism. Darby's works were later promoted by Cyrus Scofield through the footnotes of the Scofield Bible, and this teaching that seems to have originated with Lead has now spread to the masses.

 

Interestingly, Lead's prophecies were found among the possessions of those involved with the Pentecostal and Latter Rain movement. Her writings were found in the study of Charles Price, a California pastor associated with William Branham during the early part of Branham's ministry. It was during this time that Branham seemed to promote himself more as "Moses" than he did "Elijah."

 

Like Joseph Smith of the Latter Day Saints, Branham claimed to have been visited by an angel. In Branham's accounts of this visitation, he would often describe the angel telling him the power of the mind with regards to healing. Branham would claim that if the he could make the people believe in himself, then no sickness would stand in his way. This statement was often followed up by Branham's claim that the angel said, "As Moses was given two signs before Pharaoh, so shall you be given two signs."

 

Those who are familiar with this reference from Exodus 4 quickly recognize the error, because Moses was given three signs by God instead of two. As God was instructing a reluctant Moses to convince Pharaoh to let His people go, God gave Moses two signs for all in the royal courts of Pharaoh to witness. In front of the sorcerers, Moses was to throw his rod to the ground, and that rod would turn immediately into a snake. If this did not convince them, Moses was to place his hand into his cloak, and the hand would immediately be infected with leprosy. But of these two signs did not convince Pharaoh, there was yet a third sign given:

 

If they will not believe even these two signs or listen to your voice, you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground, and the water that you shall take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground."

Exodus 4:8-10

 

Ultimately, these signs by God did not change Pharaoh’s heart. The Bible says that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and his hardened heart combined with his bitter anger towards the Children of Israel was enough to make God's children want to leave their fallen condition of slavery. They were not signs for God's children, intended to show the power of God against sorcerers, however Branham taught that these signs were to be used against his own. These signs, according to Branham, would convince the people to believe in himself [William Branham], and only then could they receive healing.

 

Balaam

 

The story of Balaam according to the Christian Bible is a gripping tale between the forces of Good and the forces of evil. Likely the basis for many fantasy books or movies of fictional tales filled with sorcery, stargazing, pagan ritual and more, the Bible tells the story of a great sorcerer whose fame had spread for hundreds of miles.

 

An evil king focused upon building his empire sought to use the magic of the sorcerer against the Children of Israel, turning them away from their most powerful ally: The Almighty God.

 

According to the book of Numbers, Balaam practiced divination, which was condemned and punishable by death under the Mosaic Law. But divination and its consequences are not easily understood among the followers of William Branham, because in his teaching, Branham obscured the lines between prophecy and divination.

 

Divination is the practice of foreseeing the future through various means, some of which include fasting, stargazing, and even occult practices. Typically, those who practice divination are summoned by those who wish to use the knowledge of the future to their own purpose, such as Balaak the king in the story of Balaam. But it is vastly different than prophecy. The message given by the diviner is not a message that uplifts the entire body, and the intent of the message can only serve two purposes. Divination uplifts the sorcerer into greater fear or respect through amazement in his accuracy, while providing insight into a future event that many times cannot be changed. While the sorcerer is lifted into power, those focusing on their anticipation of the future become weaker vessels during the present.

 

Prophecy (from God), however, is given directly by God for the sole purpose of building a stronger body. It is never intended to lift one man into greater respect, and many times through the examples we find in the Bible, it actually was given to humble the pride.

 

During the Old Testament, there was a period of time that we refer to as the "age of the prophets," and it fell between the time of the Old Covenant and the days of Jesus Christ. According to the Apostle Paul, the law was given as a tool for learning, like a student being tutored until his graduation. Paul tells us that during the time of the Law, the Children of Israel were proving time and again that man cannot save himself, and needed a Savior to redeem them from the curse. When we study the prophets of the Old Testament, we quickly find that they were not diviners who were summoned to foresee future events, but instead were men who humbled themselves enough to let God speak through them.

 

The Word of the Lord through the prophets seemed to be a beating drum, all saying the same exact thing time and again: "Children of Israel, you have failed to save yourselves through keeping the Law. Because you have done this, I will bring the curses that were given under the Old Covenant as a consequence for failure. But one day, I will send the Messiah to redeem you from this curse and show you a better way."

 

Luke 16:16 tells us that this time ended with John the Baptist. When the New Covenant of Grace was established, there was no need for God to send messengers to tell the Children of Israel that they had broken the Law — According to Paul, the Old Covenant was made obsolete by the Everlasting Covenant of Grace.

 

The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.

Luke 16:16

 

Balaam was not one of these prophets, and though God gave him a message to foretell the Redeemer, Balaam was still an evil sorcerer. When Balaam was summoned, he was not summoned because of his reputation of being a prophet of the Lord. Instead, Balaam was summoned for his powers of divination, and accepted fees in exchange for this abomination.

 

So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand. And they came to Balaam and gave him Balak's message.

Numbers 22:6-8

 

Ultimately, this was the cause of Balaam's demise. Though Balaam was not one of the Children of Israel, the armies of Israel executed capital punishment in agreement with the Law of Moses. Balaam was put to death for the abomination of divination.

 

Balaam also, the son of Beor, the one who practiced divination, was killed with the sword by the people of Israel among the rest of their slain.

Joshua 13:21

 

But Branham's version of the story of Balaam did not focus on the distinct line between good and evil. According to William Branham, there were two messengers for that "age," Moses and Balaam. Branham taught his followers that Balaam had the "same anointing" that was given to Moses, claiming that all who can peer into the future were considered "prophets" instead of diviners.

 

And the Moabites, in Branham's version of the story, were worshippers of Yahweh instead of the gods of Baal. While history (and the Bible) records the Moabites serving Chemosh and Molech, Branham claimed that this pagan nation could be compared to "formal" or "organized" Christianity.

 

Elijah

 

William Branham is one of several "Malachi 4 Prophets," men promoting themselves to be the fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy of the return of Elijah before the coming of the Lord, which Branham claimed to be the second coming — not the first. If you study Branham's teaching on the prophet Elijah chronologically, you will quickly find three distinct phases of teaching.

 

During the first part of his ministry, Branham would often tell the story of Old Testament Elijah, comparing elements of the story to modern events. Planting a foundation to build upon, Branham would start to describe how the coming "Elijah" would be exactly like the character he created in his stories of Elijah, comparing those descriptions to himself and his own ministry. Once he had established himself as the new Elijah, the last part was easy; the listener would apply anything he said about the Old Testament Elijah to himself.

 

There is just one problem: The Elijah in those stories was not the Elijah of the Bible.

 

Branham described an Elijah that "hated women," having often described how he himself was accused of "hating women." According to Branham, God sent Elijah of the Old Testament to condemn Jezebel for her "bobbed hair" and makeup, just as he often did through his own sermons. In many instances, Branham compared Ahab and Jezebel to President and Mrs. Kennedy, telling his followers how Elijah needed to storm the White House to condemn President Kennedy for allowing the First Lady to wear cosmetics. Unfortunately, President Kennedy was assassinated before that dream was enacted, leaving what Branham called God's "final attack on the White House" unfulfilled.

 

Many of the followers of William Branham are unaware of the events surrounding the actual Elijah from the Old Testament. Having been trained to think that cosmetics were Jezebel's sin that brought condemnation and judgment, the true abomination of Jezebel is overlooked.

 

Ahab's marriage to Jezebel was a direct violation of the Mosaic Law, one that resulted in the curse of the Law. Jezebel was not one of the Children of Israel, and God warned Israel not to take wives from the Gentile nations. But Ahab did not keep the commandment.

 

The city of Tyre was a very important hub for commerce in the ancient world, and Ahab's union to the daughter of the King of Tyre would have seemed like a blessing in itself. Through Tyre, the riches of the world were within Ahab's reach. Tyre purple, for instance, was a royal commodity used in the clothing, cosmetics, and more. But while Tyre spread the wealth of the nations through its busy trade routes, it also spread something far more sinister: ancient pagan gods and goddesses.

 

It is believed that many of the Greek and Roman gods descended directly from the gods of Tyre. The Pillars of Melquart, for instance, were re-established as the Pillars of Hercules in Greek mythology.

 

These ancient cults were believed by their members to provide power, wealth, fertility, and prosperity, but they also brought death and destruction. Human sacrifice, temple prostitution, and many other forms of evil were included in their ritual ceremonies.

 

These sacrifices and abomination infected the Children of Israel through Jezebel, causing the Children of Israel to break several other commandments of the Mosaic Law. God did not want his Children to be sacrificed to idols, and did not want His children to serve any other God. So he sent Elijah.

 

Elijah fit the mold of most of the Old Testament prophets and their message from God. The prophets consistently gave the same prophecy: Israel, you have fallen back into idolatry. Unless you repent and turn back to the One True God, I [God] will punish you. Jezebel, not being a Jew, failed to listen.

 

In the very last moments of her life, as her executioners were coming for her, Jezebel applied her paint of royalty. She wanted to die in dignity.

 

It is in these last few moments of Jezebel's life that Branham's teaching starts. According to Branham, this description of Jezebel’s last moments was applied to all women of all races. Branham taught that since Jezebel used paint on her face, women in his following should not.

 

This expanded quickly. Branham would often call women who did not follow these rules "dog meat," referring to Jezebel's death and dismemberment. Eventually, what began as a simple fictional story became a reality through his own congregation. The only problem is that the number of "Jezebels" dramatically increased, and his followers were trained to scorn through insult.

 

Eventually, after having convinced his following that he was indeed the return of Elijah, Branham would claim that God himself was being revealed as "Elijah" in the last days. This final advancement effectively promoted himself as the return of Jesus Christ in the form of a man.

 

The Prophets

 

Those who have been involved or influenced with the ministry of William Branham share a viewpoint on prophecy that makes it quite difficult to witness and discuss scripture. Following in the footsteps of Dowie, Russell, and Smith, Branham promoted the idea that the prophets of old were leaders, and any who did not follow the leader was abandoned by God. Each major event in the Bible was given the label of an "age," and each of the men in the scriptures became "prophets" for their "age."

 

Men who lived before the timeline of the prophets in the Old Testament were elevated to the status of "prophet," which Branham claimed to be the highest form of leadership — higher even than the high priests under the Levitical priesthood.

 

As Branham taught from the Old Testament, he promoted the idea that prophets were "God's gift" to the people, and to reject that gift was to reject eternal life. All prophets were likened to Noah, and to reject the "messenger" was to shut the spiritual "door" to the ark, which represented his own ministry.

 

One of the fundamental milestones in Branham's life stories was the 1933 baptism, which was and is compared to the story in the Gospels where John baptized Jesus. But rather than God speaking from the heavens to announce His only Son Jesus, Branham's tale included a God who announced himself [William Branham]. By association, Branham implied that he was the "gift" for this age.

 

Branham's descriptions of prophets were men who could peer into the future. This, according to Branham, was a divine gift from God — no matter which religion, herbs and spices, or even astrology produced the "gift." Balaam, for instance, had the same "anointing" that Moses had according to Branham's teaching.

 

To further the doctrine on prophetic leadership, Branham claimed that God only sent one prophet for each "age." To reject this single leader was to reject God, while acceptance of the man and his message was to inherit eternal salvation. This creates a problem, since there were multiple prophets prophesying at the same time during several events in the Old Testament. It would seem as though this is the reason that several books of the Bible were avoided during the recorded sermons from 1947 to 1965.

 

The Bible tells a much different story, and seems to expose the weakness of the prophets for a purpose. Until the Mosaic Law was given, men spoke directly to God. Abraham, for instance, walked with God fully in Grace without Law. God spoke to Sarah, and even Hagar — no vision required.

 

For a period of time, God ruled and reigned supreme over the people. Men relied upon the Lord for their provision, their protection, their guidance, and their salvation, and though we find instances of visions given by God, we don't find mention of the label "prophet" until much later in scripture.

 

The people wanted to see a man in power, one that they could see and hear in physical form, and the Bible describes God allowing the people to elect kings into political power. Again, during this time period, we do not find men labeled "prophets," but instead "judges." Time after time, mankind fell to idolatry, adultery, and many other types of sin, and we find judges to issue correction and acts of warfare to free the people from oppression.

 

These kings were the leaders of Israel, long before the first prophet is mentioned. Again and again, a king would rise, bring the people into righteousness, and then fall again to worse sin. Israel continually drifted further and further away from the Old Covenant, until finally, they had trespassed against each of the commandments.

 

According to the Old Covenant, there were over three hundred blessings given for keeping the Law — but there were also over three hundred curses for abandoning or breaking that Law. As the law began to fail, we start seeing the first prophets sent by God.

 

The most obvious error with this idea that prophets were leaders instead of voices of the Covenant is exposed when you review the timeline of the prophets compared to the timeline of Israel. You'll quickly notice that God's Voice was confirmed by the mouths of more than one human, starting in the days of King Jereoboem II. Jonah, Joel, and Amos were all speaking to God's children as the punishments began.

 

During the time of Babylonian captivity, this was amplified with God's voice being spoken by multiple prophets in both Babylon and Jerusalem. Daniel and Ezekiel were speaking God's Voice to those in captivity while Jeremiah, Obadiah, and Habakkuk were speaking God's Voice to the Jews in Jerusalem.

 

Christ, speaking of this period of time, associates the prophets with the Mosaic Law. According to the book of Luke, Jesus tells us that both the Law and the prophets were until John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus Christ. Since then, the Good News, or the Gospel of the Kingdom was proclaimed."

 

"The Law and the prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.

Luke 16:16