WMB catches himself in his own conflicting story at the beginning of the sermon: was it Dowagiac, MI, or was it Jeffersonville, IN? Preaching to the Baptists, he would certainly say that he came to know God in the little Missionary Baptist Church:
My, that Baptist, you know, I used to belong to the Baptist church myself. I was a member of the Missionary Baptist Church. When I come among the people, I know how you feel. I felt the same way, just full of something that I--I didn't know.
I remember my first experience of seeing a pentecostal, it was in Dowagiac, Michigan... I beg your pardon, I had been at Dowagiac on a fishing trip, and was coming down from Dowagiac, to down into Indiana. And so I seen the names, of "Jesus" all over the cars and things, and I listened to their services that day. And the next day they asked me to come to the platform, to say a few words, and I did. And I... They asked me what church I belonged to, and I told them I was a Baptist.
In 1950, however, when he is speaking to another group, it was Dowagiac, MI
Just before Billy was born, we had saved enough money, till I was, wanted to take a little time off. And we... I went up to Dowagiac, Michigan, to a--a meeting, and the--with an old man that had white beard and white hair, by the name of John Ryan.
And so I went up there. And on the road back, coming back, I seen a sign, great crowds of people everywhere when I passed through Mishawaka. I thought, "What are those people." And I went over there, and there's some of them in T-Model Fords, and some in Cadillacs. And they told me that they were... I couldn't get nothing to, no place to stay. And they said you're--you're... There's a conference going on here. The Pentecostal people are having a conference. The--the P. A. of J. C., I believe it was, P--P. A. of J. C. denomination of Pentecost called that.
Well, I seen all kinds of people. I thought, "Well, that's a religious meeting. Believe I'll go in."
Well, I never heard so much noise in all my life. So... Oh, church manners, they didn't have it. They were screaming, shouting, and carrying on. I thought, "What in the world?" I looked around there, and they got a tabernacle...
Some of you might know the man's name. His name's Rowe, Reverend Rowe. Anybody here happen to know Reverend Rowe? And a... Yes, someone here knows of him. Reverend Rowe, it was in his church.
Well, they were just clapping their hands, and carrying on, and dancing. And why, I said, "My, isn't that horrible, people dancing in the church?" I said, "Well, that's a shame." And I was setting in a seat of the scornful, sure enough. So I thought... Something though kinda got a hold of me a little bit. And I thought, "Well, now."
I'm counting my money. I had--I had two dollars and fifteen cents left. And I went out and got... Thought, "Well now, I can't stay in a tourist court, 'cause I ain't got the money. But I'm going to stay over. Just got enough money to buy my gasoline to get home." So I went out that night and slept in a cornfield. And I knowed I, but I didn't have very good clothes. And the next morning, why I went to the service.
And that day, oh, my, ministers preaching... And how I noticed, that night they called, said, "Every preacher come to the platform." Hundred and fifty, more preachers come up to the platform. They was having a conference, international conference. They was all setting on the platform.
He said, "We haven't got time for all of you testify." I went up. He said, "Just say who are and where you're from."
And it come to me, I said, "Evangelist, William Branham, Jeffersonville," set down.
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WMB describes the church as the "house of correction", the place where we can go to understand the Bible:
May the Lord add His blessings to the reading of His Words. And I would like to--to take a text of that, as, Broken Cisterns.
When, in reading this Scripture this morning; which, all Scripture is given by inspiration. And we come to the House of the Lord for correction and for understanding.
Nowhere in the bible is the church described as the "house of correction" -- Old Testament under the Law, or New Testament under Grace! David writes:
We should enter into the Lord's gates giving God thanks. We should enter into His courts with praise. We should bless the Name of the Lord. Psalms 100
Also, the Bible is of NO private interpretation, we do not come into the house of the Lord to get one man's interpretation of the Bible.
This statement is striking when you consider that some of the doctrines of each religion can be found in WMB's teachings:
And we're seeing God, from every section of denominations, all the way from Catholicism, through all the protestant churches, Buddhas and whatmore, from India, and whatever more. He's calling His people together, assembling them together.
I agree that God calls people from each of these religious beliefs to Christianity. I do think that as they come, though, they leave their idolatry and Pagan beliefs behind.
Compare the Buddhist teaching of the Yin and Yang, and compare it to what you have been taught by WMB about Jesus and Satan. (WMB taught they were equal at one time, remember):
"Yin and Yang" literally means "dark and light", is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. Opposites thus only exist in relation to each other.
Again, WMB turns the focus of blame to Eve:
God made His program at the beginning, in the garden of Eden, where the place He would meet man, and that wasn't upon intellectual understandings; if it had, Eve was exactly in line with His program. But we know that her accepting Satan's intellectual conception, "Surely, God will not," but God said He would! And so then He chose the place of redemption, and it was by Blood, and not by intellectual conception.
The description of The Fall WMB gives here is not Biblical, however. Sin entered into the world by one man (Adam), not by one woman. (Rom 5:12) Eve did not have a 'broken cistern'; she was DECEIVED by Satan! She leaned on Satan's understanding, not her own. (1 Timothy 2:14)
WMB speaks of Jeremiah, the 'weeping prophet':
Now Jeremiah was called, also, "the weeping prophet." And because, I believe, that made this prophet weep--weep, rather, was because him being a prophet (and the Word of the Lord comes to such) and seeing the people walk after their traditions, and thought they were all right, and no way at all to turn them.
This statement is correct, and cannot be disputed. It is interesting when you fully understand the ENTIRE reason behind Jeremiah's sorrow for the children of Israel.
Jeremiah's statement about the new covenant is significant (31:31-34). The old covenant was a temporary covenant that was to be replaced. Hebrews 8:6-13 quotes Jeremiah 31, noting that the first covenant was being replaced by the New Testament (covenant) of Jesus Christ.
There are several references to the Messiah in Jeremiah (cf. Jeremiah 31:15 with Matthew 2:16-18). Especially note Jeremiah's references to the "Branch," a term for the Messiah (Jeremiah 23:5,6; 33:14-18). When people saw Jesus, they thought of Jeremiah (Matthew 16:14).
During WMB's ministry, he pulls several laws of the old covenant that fit his purpose (leaving several others behind). WMB himself made a tradition of several of the laws. Would Jeremiah have wept at the number of people WMB has turned over to tradition today?
Out of the entire sermon, this one section is the most troublesome. It borders blasphemy:
Now we notice in Saint Mark, the 16th chapter, Jesus did not say, "Go ye into all the world, and--and--and teach." He said, "Go preach the Gospel." Preach the Gospel, is, demonstrating the Power of the Holy Spirit! "Go ye into all the world, and demonstrate the Power of the Holy Ghost."
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT demonstrating the power. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News that God sent His Son to us, Jesus Christ. He lived a perfect life, and died on the cross for our sins. He was buried in the tomb for three days, conquering death, hell, and the grave. He rose from the grave so that we can be risen with Him.
Any other 'gospel' is PAGAN. It is by faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved, not by the mighty works that we do.
WMB makes a very good, very sound statement:
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Any man-made system will keep him right in that; he'll blind the thing from the intellectual, the intellectual eyes, that they think, "I belong to church, my name is on the book. I have did this. My father was this, and so forth." That sounds all right; which, it is, nothing to say against it. But still, friend, Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot even see," see, there, doesn't mean that he sees with his eyes, but, "understand the Kingdom of Heaven." Until you're born in!
I have to question whether or not he believed this, however, when he told several people that 'God had given them' their children and grandchildren. Those children and grandchildren (from the ones I have spoken with) have the opinion that the only thing required for salvation is to be in 'The Message.' More than one of them are not even in 'The Message.'
WMB refers to what we believe to be Brother Lawrie:
My Indian brother there knows that. Come up around Bombay and you'll see the people there, the Hindus and so forth, laying on spikes and upon... walking on glass and--and walking in fire, to show what they can do, and things like... That's carnal impersonations of some man back in the jungle there, is doing that to a sacrifice for his god. We find that amongst all religious life, carnal impersonations, somebody trying to be like the other. There is only one example you're to be like, that's like Jesus Christ, Who was the Word. And then when the Word of God comes to you, it'll be the same way.
The reader should examine some of the many other things WMB said about Brother Lawrie in other threads of this forum. Brother Lawrie later went on to preach the end-of-the-world prophecy that ministers now say was 'only a prediction' regarding 1977. 1976 was a good year for the roses. (or tithe offerings)
WMB's explanation of El Shaddai is interesting when you consider where it came from:
In Genesis 17, He is Abraham's nursing Breast, El Shaddai. But when his life was gone from him, still he... God said.
"A man of a hundred years old, how will this thing be? I am old, my wife is old, how can these things be?"
He said, "I am El Shaddai." Now, El is "the," and--and Shaddai is "breast," and Shaddai is plural, which means "I am the breasted God."
Like a baby that's fretting and it's sick, and its strength is gone from it, lean upon the mother's bosom and nurse its strength back. Sure. Not only... When it's nursing, it isn't fretting no more. At the mother's breast, it's satisfied while it is getting its strength.
El Shaddai is generally translated as "God Almighty". In Exodus, it is simply used as "The God of Abraham."
Shaddai was a city on the Euphrates river, and it is said that the city's literal translated name was used to describe God -- the God of Shaddai, or the God of Abraham.
The 'breasted' part comes from the Kaballah, and was an attribute of a Semitic goddess. The word Shaddai is connected with 'shadayim' with is the plural meaning (breasts) that WMB is referring to. Shaddai is singular.
One of Kabbalah's most distinctive images of the feminine divine is that of a motherly, breastfeeding God. Suckling at My Mother's Breasts traces this idea from its origins in ancient rabbinic literature through its flourishing in the medieval classic Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Splendor). Taking the position that kabbalistic images provide specific, detailed models for understanding the relationship between God and human beings, Ellen Davina Haskell connects divine nursing theology to Jewish ideals regarding motherhood, breastfeeding, and family life from medieval France and Spain, where Kabbalah originated. Haskell's approach allows for a new evaluation of Kabbalah's feminine divine, one centered on culture and context, rather than gender philosophy or psychoanalysis. As this work demonstrates, the image of the nursing divine is intended to cultivate a direct emotional response to God rooted in nurture, love, and reliance, rather than knowledge, sexuality, or authority.
Suckling at My Mother's Breasts: The Image of a Nursing God in Jewish Mysticism
Ellen Davina Haskell
The question is: Did WMB worship a Semetic Goddess? Or did he simply try to combine religions to create 'mystery?'