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Hiding The Cross From Others

John Collins02/17/2013

Video available here:

William Marion Branham mentioned the word “mystery” over four hundred times in his recorded sermons.  Branham taught that his people, his followers, had something the rest of the world did not have: special insight to hidden mysteries.

In 1962, he says this:

May I say this with reverence, and not referring to myself, but referring to the Angel of God.  The serpent's seed, that's been a hidden mystery, all through the years.

The grace, straightened out; not disgrace, but real, true grace.

No such a thing as an Eternal, burning hell. You'll burn for millions of years. But, anything that was Eternal, had never a beginning or a end; and hell was created.

All these mysteries!  The mystery of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, without sensation, but the Person of Christ performing in you the same works that He did.

The mystery of water baptism. Where, the extreme trinitarianism has brought it into titles of "Father, Son, Holy Ghost." And the mystery of the Godhead being fulfilled in the baptism of the Name of "Jesus Christ," according to the Book of the Revelations, that the Church in this time was to receive.  There is some of the mysteries.

The Pillar of Fire returning back. Amen! That's the thing that's supposed to take place, and we see it.  Oh, how we could go on, naming the mysteries!

Looking back, it is plain to see that many of these things have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation.  Why would I even care to know if hell is not eternal?  That’s not the direction I’m focusing on!  And why would any teacher warning others of hell care to teach that?  It’s like giving your child a small slap on his wrist for climbing the alligator fence.  You’re not going to tell your child, “Now junior, don’t do that, or you won’t get a cookie when you get home.”  You’re going to tell him, “STOP IT NOW!  YOU COULD DIE!” 

There is a Great Mystery in the Bible, one that the prophets of the Old Testament could only see in symbol.  According to Paul, that Mystery was fulfilled in Christ.  But Branham taught that we must know something greater than Christ, something that is not taught in churches that did not follow his teachings.  He often spoke about it.  An example is in the 1956 sermon, “Revelation, Book of Symbols”:

And the world groaning, waiting today, people don't know the mystery of God. Why? They've not been taught the mystery of God. The only thing they been taught, "join church, put your name on the book, be a good fellow, treat your neighbor right." That's all right, but you must know the mystery of God. No man can reveal it to you but the One that had the Book. And the Bible said, "No man can call Jesus the Christ, only by the Holy Ghost." This grand, old Holy Ghost church is going to come out one of these days and shine like you've never seen.

In that same sermon, he claimed that we “MUST” know the mysteries.  Branham taught that his understanding of the “mysteries” were greater than any of the men before him, and that these “mysteries” are required for what he called “Rapturing Faith.”  In 1964, he says this: 

That's the reason that all these great mysteries could not be given to Luther, could not be given to Wesley, could not be given to the age that has just passed by us, the Pentecostal age. Why? It wasn't time. They were begotten. Now, the Person of Christ, Himself, the Son of man (You understand?) revealing Himself in human flesh, it could not have come till now.

This is yet another false teaching that Irenaeus spoke harshly against.  This is a Gnostic teaching – one that will lead good people astray.  In his book, “Against Heresies,” Irenaeus says  this:

Now what follows from all this? No light tragedy comes out of it, as the fancy of every man among them pompously explains, one in one way, and another in another, from what kind of passion and from what element being derived its origin. They have good reason, as seems to me, why they should not feel inclined to teach these things to all in public, but only to such as are able to pay a high price for an acquaintance with such profound mysteries. For these doctrines are not at all similar to those of which our Lord said, "Freely ye have received, freely give."  They are, on the contrary, abstruse, and portentous, and profound mysteries, to be got at only with great labour by such as are in love with falsehood.  

This reminds me of what Paul told the Corinthians as they began to fall in the same trap from false teachers.  Paul told them NOT to teach mysteries – they should teach Christ and His Unmerited Favor!

1 Corinthians 4 says this:

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful.  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.  For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.  Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

If we “snip” this paragraph out of context, it does sound like Paul is speaking about “mysteries” that we should know and spread.  But if you read the entire chapter in context, and realize that the second part of this first paragraph is about Grace instead of “mystery,” you’ll quickly find that Paul is speaking of the Mystery that is Christ fulfilled.

He says, “I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another.  For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

In the second paragraph, Paul openly condemns William Branham and those like him who are teaching “mysteries” that are beyond what is written.  Why?  They would become “puffed up!”  Why would they boast of their special insight, when they should be boasting of what Christ did for us on the cross!

Paul says, “Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you!  For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.  We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute.  To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.”

Paul sounds very angry with the Corinthians, and probably because he is!  He taught them the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ, the simple teaching that ALL could be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  There was nothing beyond that worth teaching, no special mystery that must be known!

At the end, he explains why he sent them a letter of correction:

I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children.  For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers.  For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.  I urge you, then, be imitators of me.  That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.  Some are arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.  But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will find out not the talk of these arrogant people but their power.  For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.   What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Were we spreading teachings of “simple talk,” or were we spreading the Gospel of the power in the cross?  Did we teach crazy mysteries, or did we tell others that Jesus died for all?  Did we teach that the cross was not enough, or did we teach that you must know mysteries along with the cross?  Did we hide the Gospel of Jesus Christ from others by our mysteries?