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Christ The Adopted Savior

John Collins02/16/2013Video available here:

Irenaeus wrote a book entitled “Against Heresies,” in which he condemns many heresies that were being introduced into the Church by Gnostics and other heretic groups that had risen from pagan influence. One of the heresies he spoke against would later become “adoptionism”.

“Adoptionism” is a term that many of you may be unfamiliar with, yet most of you would strongly disagree with. It is the minority belief that Jesus was born a man – not born the Son of God – and was “adopted” by the Father at either His baptism, resurrection, or ascension.

Irenaeus spoke against these heretics. He said, “There are also some who maintain that he also produced Christ as his own proper son, but of an animal nature, and that mention was made of him by the prophets. This Christ passed through Mary just as water flows through a tube; and there descended upon him in the form of a dove.”

In the preface of the book, Irenaeus warns us: These men use scriptures to twist the truth.

INASMUCH as certain men have set the truth aside, and bring in lying words and vain genealogies, which, as the apostle says, "minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith," and by means of their craftily-constructed plausibilities draw away the minds of the inexperienced and take them captive, [I have felt constrained, my dear friend, to compose the following treatise in order to expose and counteract their machinations.] These men falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation. They also overthrow the faith of many, by drawing them away, under a pretense of [superior] knowledge, from Him who rounded and adorned the universe; as if, forsooth, they had something more excellent and sublime to reveal, than that God who created the heaven and the earth, and all things that are therein.

This belief of adoptionism was declared a heresy at the end of the 2nd Century because it denied the Supreme Deity of God. Most Christians today believe that Jesus was the eternally begotten Son of God, the Word that was in the beginning.

John 14-18 says:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.

Even among the followers of William Marrion Branham, this Orthodox view of Christ is widely accepted. Most see Jesus as eternal, and believe the scriptures when they say that Jesus was the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.

What they do not realize is that William Branham incorporated almost every heresy known to man within his sermons. Many heresies woven through Branham’s teachings are in conflict with each other, creating divisions among even his own following.

During some of his sermons, Branham taught adoptionism. In November 1955, he says this:

Everything that he give him possession over will take place. God adopted His own Son like that. Jesus, walking as an ordinary man, but one day upon Mount Transfiguration, He taken three as a witness Peter, James, John: hope, faith, and charity. Called them out, and He separated Jesus from them, and He over-shadowed Him. And the Bible said, "His raiment shined like the sun in its strength." What was it? That special robe, God adopting His own Son.

2 Peter 2 tells us these ‘heresies’ are destructive. These heresies, denying the Deity of Christ, are denying God Himself according to Peter.

Peter says this:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

It is difficult to think about, but remember Branham’s car wreck. It was swift destruction, taking Branham off the scene before heresy could spread further.

Peter says, “And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Think of it. Peter says that Sodom and Gomorrah were made “examples” of what would happen to the ungodly, speaking of these men who spread heresies! Peter is very harsh with these words. There is no room for argument about heresy in Peter’s mind.

Let’s continue:

Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord.

This is a very serious statement. Branham had several statements of heresy that blasphemed God. He even said “in the name of the Lord” that men should divorce their wives! Peter says that not even the angels are this bold.

But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing. They count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, while they feast with you.

This single paragraph by Peter is very ironic, when we compare the lifestyle of William Branham:

They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. Accursed children! Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

William Branham almost praised Balaam. Though Balaam was a sorcerer, stoned for his abomination, Branham claimed that Balaam had the same anointing as Moses. Branham taught that Balaam was anointed by God!

When we think of William Branham, we seldom associate adultery or greed – but our opinion of the man is based mostly on his own words which were often fictional. In fact, his trips to what the American troops called “Pig Alley” in France speak many words about his character. It was the “sin capital of the world!” His reason for going? To “see if it was like people claimed.” His conclusion? “Yep! It’s bad!”

What does Peter say about these men who spread heresy? Let’s find out:

These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm. For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved. For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

Let’s pause here: Peter just said that even if they had learned about Christ, had faith in Christ, they placed themselves in a worse state than if they had never been a believer!

Now we come to the last part of the chapter, one that Branham himself quoted often. Oddly, when Branham quoted it, he applied it to other Christians in other denominations – simply because they did not follow his extra-biblical teachings. When you think about the fact that this scripture is talking more about William Branham than other Christians in other churches, it is … well … a paradox!

For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Was Jesus Christ really adopted? Do we really believe in that heresy? William Branham called Irenaeus a “church angel messenger.” Why does one “messenger” call another one a “heretic?” Do we believe in the many other heresies Branham made current from the ancient times? Are we feasting on the Word of God? Or were we feasting on what this dog was eating?