Video Available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0MKy963F70
There is a cult website that I sometimes frequent entitled "Two Message Ministers." This site caught my last year with a subject I was not familiar with: "sola scriptura"
Sola scriptura is Latin for "by scripture alone." It is the idea the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness.
This, in fact, was one of my motives to dig deeper. Was William Branham really "sola scriptura?" These two seemed to think so.
When William Branham preached his sermons, he would often say, "Let me take this verse as a 'context'." This strikes me as very odd, because a single verse could very easily be taking OUT of context, not vice versa. I quickly realized when I learned about "sola scriptura" that this was my largest stumbling block in my walk with Christ. I had single verses programmed in my mind, rather than the underlying meaning of these verses as they were intended.
Since I was once in this lost state of confusion about the Bible, I can only assume there are others out there in the same state. So, It's time that this website take a turn in its focus. We want to remind cult followers what "sola scriptura" really is, so that they do not remain in a state of confusion by their leader, William Marrion Branham.
To start things off, I want to discuss two topics, both of which William Branham combines in one single statement:
"I was speaking this morning of this woman--immoral woman, washing Jesus' dirty feet, wiping them with her hair. Some of our pentecostal sisters have to stand on their head to get enough hair to wash the feet. Cut it all off. See? That's right. It used to be wrong for you to do it. It's still wrong for you to do it. The Bible plainly teaches, if a woman cuts her hair, her husband has a right to divorce her, put her away. Said if she cuts her hair, she dishonors her head, her husband. And a dishonorable woman should not be lived with. I better shut up now. I'll get you preachers right here... I'm only telling you the truth. You're going to face me with it at the day of judgment. That's THUS SAITH THE LORD, in His Word."
There are two points Branham makes here:
1 - Outward things (hair) can make us immoral
2 - If a woman is immoral, the husband can divorce her (this, Branham claimed, came directly from God, and was plainly stated in the Bible.) If it came from the Bible, this indeed would be "sola scriptura."
I hold in my hand a ring. This ring has no power over me. I can place it on my ring finger, tell others I am married, and the ring signifies marriage. I can also place it on my pinky finger, tell others I am wealthy, and use my ring to signify wealth. I have control over this ring.
This ring does not make me a sinner. I can sin with this ring on, but the ring does not cause the sin.
I'd like to examine Ezekiel 16 to see if these two points Branham makes is actually "sola scriptura."
Rather than 'snip' a verse out of my context, I want to read the entire chapter. I myself want to remain 'sola scriptura.'
This is speaking of The Lord's Faithless Bride:
Again the word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, make known to Jerusalem her abominations, and say, Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: Your origin and your birth are of the land of the Canaanites; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born."
Remember: This is God, speaking directly to Jerusalem.
"And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' I said to you in your blood, 'Live!' I made you flourish like a plant of the field. And you grew up and became tall and arrived at full adornment. Your breasts were formed, and your hair had grown; yet you were naked and bare.
"When I passed by you again and saw you, behold, you were at the age for love, and I spread the corner of my garment over you and covered your nakedness; I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God, and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off your blood from you and anointed you with oil. I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk. And I adorned you with ornaments and put bracelets on your wrists and a chain on your neck. And I put a ring on your nose and earrings in your ears and a beautiful crown on your head.
I want to pause here. Those of you with King James Bibles may not see the part of the nose ring. Why? In this particular instance, the King James translators were NOT sola scriptura! Newer translations, such as the ESV, fix this. The Hebrew word in the scrolls is "appek", and it literally translates to "nostril."
Nevertheless, God, speaking of His Bride, put earrings in the ears and nose of His Bride! When William Branham spoke so harshly against earrings, was this "sola scriptura?"
Like this ring on my finger, jewelry of the ear has very little to do with your salvation.
Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen and silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour and honey and oil. You grew exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. And your renown went forth among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through the splendor that I had bestowed on you, declares the Lord God.
Now remember, God is faithful. He is speaking to His Bride, and His Bride is not faithful. Listen to this next part.
"But you trusted in your beauty and played the whore because of your renown and lavished your whorings on any passerby; your beauty became his. You took some of your garments and made for yourself colorful shrines, and on them played the whore. The like has never been, nor ever shall be. You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and with them played the whore. 18 And you took your embroidered garments to cover them, and set my oil and my incense before them. Also my bread that I gave youâ€”I fed you with fine flour and oil and honeyâ€”you set before them for a pleasing aroma; and so it was, declares the Lord God. And you took your sons and your daughters, whom you had borne to me, and these you sacrificed to them to be devoured. Were your whorings so small a matter that you slaughtered my children and delivered them up as an offering by fire to them? And in all your abominations and your whorings you did not remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, wallowing in your blood.
"And after all your wickedness (woe, woe to you! declares the Lord God), you built yourself a vaulted chamber and made yourself a lofty place in every square. At the head of every street you built your lofty place and made your beauty an abomination, offering yourself to any passerby and multiplying your whoring. You also played the whore with the Egyptians, your lustful neighbors, multiplying your whoring, to provoke me to anger. Behold, therefore, I stretched out my hand against you and diminished your allotted portion and delivered you to the greed of your enemies, the daughters of the Philistines, who were ashamed of your lewd behavior. You played the whore also with the Assyrians, because you were not satisfied; yes, you played the whore with them, and still you were not satisfied. You multiplied your whoring also with the trading land of Chaldea, and even with this you were not satisfied.
"How sick is your heart,[g] declares the Lord God, because you did all these things, the deeds of a brazen prostitute, building your vaulted chamber at the head of every street, and making your lofty place in every square. Yet you were not like a prostitute, because you scorned payment. Adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband! Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave your gifts to all your lovers, bribing them to come to you from every side with your whorings. So you were different from other women in your whorings. No one solicited you to play the whore, and you gave payment, while no payment was given to you; therefore you were different.
God is speaking of His Bride, calling her a whore! We know who William Branham said was the whore: The Catholic church. But this is Ezekiel, remember, and the Catholic church did not yet exist. This is God's bride!
"Therefore, O prostitute, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Because your lust was poured out and your nakedness uncovered in your whorings with your lovers, and with all your abominable idols, and because of the blood of your children that you gave to them, therefore, behold, I will gather all your lovers with whom you took pleasure, all those you loved and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from every side and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. And I will judge you as women who commit adultery and shed blood are judged, and bring upon you the blood of wrath and jealousy. And I will give you into their hands, and they shall throw down your vaulted chamber and break down your lofty places. They shall strip you of your clothes and take your beautiful jewels and leave you naked and bare. They shall bring up a crowd against you, and they shall stone you and cut you to pieces with their swords. And they shall burn your houses and execute judgments upon you in the sight of many women. I will make you stop playing the whore, and you shall also give payment no more. So will I satisfy my wrath on you, and my jealousy shall depart from you. I will be calm and will no more be angry. Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have enraged me with all these things, therefore, behold, I have returned your deeds upon your head, declares the Lord God. Have you not committed lewdness in addition to all your abominations?
Revelation speaks of the "mother of harlots." William Branham called "denominations" the "daughters of the Catholic church," taking Freemasonry teachings and claiming them for his own. But let's see what Ezekiel says about the 'daughters' of the Bride:
"Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: 'Like mother, like daughter.' You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. As I live, declares the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed. Bear your disgrace, you also, for you have intervened on behalf of your sisters. Because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. So be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous.
So, after reading about how unfaithful God's bride was, how dishonorable she was, we ask ourselves: Was William Branham "sola scriptura?" Does the Bible really say that men should divorce their wives? Did God really speak through William Branham as "Thus Saith The Lord?"
Let's find out:
"I will restore their fortunes, both the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes in their midst, that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all that you have done, becoming a consolation to them. As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former state, and you and your daughters shall return to your former state. Was not your sister Sodom a byword in your mouth in the day of your pride, before your wickedness was uncovered? Now you have become an object of reproach for the daughters of Syria and all those around her, and for the daughters of the Philistines, those all around who despise you. You bear the penalty of your lewdness and your abominations, declares the Lord.
So, we ask you. Was William Branham "sola scriptura?" Or have you been led into believing something that is not scriptural?
All through the Bible, there is one "theme." God and His Bride. Every story is about God's faithless bride, God's unfailing love for her, and how full of forgiveness that God is. Even the very first story, Adam and Eve, is about this subject. Eve was deceived into sin by the serpent. Adam knowingly sinned to save Eve, because of his undying love for her.
Is this teaching that men should divorce their wives "sola scriptura?" Or is this teaching against the very fibers of the Bible itself?