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Super Apostles

John Collins01/24/2013In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul condemns the "super apostles," men who pulled the spiritual focus of the church in Corinth away from their individual experience to themselves -- to the extent that they had risen to a status above even Paul himself over the people.  It was the third time Paul had written to them, pleading with them to grow in their own spiritual walk with Christ rather than lift a few men into power.

This was Paul's fourth letter to the Corinthians.  1 Corinthians was the second letter, and Paul mentions a third letter in chapter 2 that had brought him to tears.  The church was slipping away into a cult following of "super apostles."

Throughout the New Testament, Paul condemns the sin of "sensuality" that so appealed to the people of Corinth.  These "super apostles" preyed upon their love of sensuality, taking the power of the Holy Spirit within the people away so that they themselves might be lifted.

Paul was upset.  He said, "I have been a fool!"

Paul wanted the people to empower themselves with the Holy Spirit that was poured out among all flesh, but the people wanted to lift men into power.  Paul reminded them that in their earthly life, children are not obligated to save up to give to their parents, but parents to save up wealth to give to their children.  He reprimanded them for not accepting the power that was given to them, and placing men into power.

Paul reminded them of the men that he sent.  They did not come to take advantage, they did not come with a hierarchy of importance with Paul at the top, they all came in the same manner with the same teaching.  Rhetorically, Paul asked them, "Did I take advantage of you with these men?  Did they take advantage of you?  Did we not act in the same spirit and take the same steps?"

What Paul experienced is nothing new, and we find it repeating itself time and again.  People are still influenced by their sensuality, and would rather uplift men into power so that they can see the power God has given to the entire Church.  But in doing so, they place their faith in their own "super apostles" and place their focus in the men rather than what they themselves could become.

William Branham's cult is no exception to this example in Corinth.  While the Holy Spirit is moving, trying to fill each one of them with power, they would rather lift up a man than receive power from the Holy Ghost.  While they look to the false prophet for his "healing power," few realize that they could have the same healing power if they would simply accept it.  

Worse, the "healing power" itself is uplifted.  Paul mentions many spiritual gifts to the Church in his writings, and healing is not even one that has focus.  Paul writes that the greatest of all is "charity," yet followers of the cult place far more value on healing.

In fact, because of the healing, followers of the cult are willing to overlook failed prophecy.  They are willing to deny the scripture's instructions for a false prophet, because they have a "super apostle" that was able to heal.  Though the many stories William Branham gives to appeal to the senses have been proven to be fictional, the followers overlook this because of their own sin of sensuality.  

They have became the very thing that Paul wrote against in Corinthians.  They have created a "super apostle."

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Are we glad that we no longer elevate a "super apostle," and we can now empower ourselves with the Holy Spirit?  Having been taught that these healing signs and wonders were only done by their "super apostle," is there not freedom in knowing that even William Branham's own "Voice of Healing" magazine mentions literally hundreds of others that could do the same thing?  Isn't there freedom in knowing that the same Holy Spirit that moved through Branhamite churches still moves today in other churches?

Isn't there freedom in the liberty we now have in Christ?