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John Collins9/25/2012 9:23:00 AMA large portion of the Masonic belief system is taken from Gnosticism.

Though Gnostic beliefs sound Christian on the surface, they are structured in such a way that Jesus Himself is depreciated and 'Gnosis' is elevated. There are many points of interest, but the common ones are these:

1. secret knowledge,
2. asceticism,
3. depreciation of Christ (lowering Him in name and in glory),
4. strict rule-keeping, ceremonies, or rituals
5. worship of angels,
6. and reliance on human wisdom and tradition.

Paul warns against Gnostics in Colossians:
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind
Colossians 2:18

The most identifiable topic found in the message is the 'secret knowledge.' Gnostics teach that you must 'read in-between the lines' to get the Truth, and that the Truth is hidden in mystery for only the chosen ones. This secret knowledge is required to gain your ascension.

The second (and most important to the faith) is asceticism. Denying yourself of the enjoyment of life by avoiding life's pleasures. This topic alone is condemned in several places in the Bible from the Old Testament to the New. Asceticism breeds legalism, and legalism breeds works-righteous faith. Gnostics must 'earn' their salvation, making the Cross of Jesus Christ of non-effect.

Depreciation of Jesus Christ is very cunning. It is not obvious for the beginner to see, but the message of William Branham took a very slow course of action in bringing Christ down to our level.

Using reverse psychology tactics intended for a two-year-old, WMB would tell a story of how a woman claimed that he "put too much emphasis on Jesus," turning it into a funny story that psychologically made us think that he actually did. He did not.

WMB claimed that the Holy Spirit left Jesus in Gethsemani. With this conclusion, Jesus suffered and died on the cross as a man and not as God. If man dies for our sins, there is no remission of sin.

He also claimed that Jesus and Satan were equal at one time. Jesus was lowered to the level of not only an angel, but a fallen angel.

WMB taught that Jesus could do nothing unless the 'Father showed him'. At this point in his ministry, Jesus was lowered to the level of just a prophet.

This theology is Gnostic, and comes directly from the evil one. Regardless of whether or not WMB knew he was serving Satan, this point in his ministry was quickly becoming an ambassador for the devil. This writer and this forum wishes to give WMB the benefit of the doubt, hoping and praying that his soul was simply mislead.

Strict rule-keeping is not only visible in the message, but required. Earrings are forbidden, though not a single scripture forbids. Makeup is forbidden, though not a single scripture condemns. Several scriptures twisted, misinterpreted, or invented to create a rule-based religion towards a works-righteous faith system. Were these things required for our salvation, Paul would have preached a message of works and not Grace.

Worship of angels is also strongly supported in the message of William Branham. By elevating the fallen angel (Satan), and lowering the Son Jesus Christ, angels are given greater status. WMB claimed he could do nothing his 'angel did not tell him -- instead of relying on Jesus Christ. Angelic worship is prevalent, but the question we have is which side these angels were fighting for.

Reliance on human wisdom and tradition is prideful. Most followers of William Branham today will tell you that you can only earn salvation if you follow the tradition of William Branham. Those who do not believe in their 'prophet' are not worthy of the bride of Christ and will not be in the 'rapture.' The pastor in the church in Jeffersonville teaches that all Christians not part of this elect group will be 'servants' to the 'bride.' This group is worthy to be called 'bride' because they have the 'knowledge' of William Branham.