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The Cloud, The Idol In The Hearts

John Collins03/05/2013

Video available here: http://youtu.be/UHm_pwvt5jA

In 1962, William Branham allegedly had a “vision” of a spiritual event that was about to take place to the west of Tucson, Arizona.  Five angels – specifically five—would represent “grace.”  (Because in the English language, the word ‘grace’ has five letters.)  In the vision, a “blast” was to happen to the south of his position, so loud that it sounded like an “airplane breaking the sound barrier.”

After preaching a sermon entitled “An Absolute” in Houston, Texas on March 4, 1963, Branham said that he went back hunting in Arizona – the trip that would lead many followers astray for years to come.

In hindsight, he probably should never have recorded the sermon in Houston, Texas.  He should have never said that the hunting trip occurred after the Houston meeting on March 4th, because the dates themselves would eventually be evidence of his deception.

Regardless, Branham made the statements.  His “prophetic gift” could not produce enough divination to see what was about to happen next:  a magazine article.  He wasn’t immediately aware of the article that was about to be published. 

At the same time Branham was heading back to Jeffersonville, a UFO chaser by the name of James McDonald was investigating an event that happened in Northern Arizona – far from Branham’s hunting location.  During the 1960’s, McDonald personally interviewed over five-hundred UFO witnesses, and the event in Northern Arizona caught his interest.

McDonald was preparing information for a UFO hearing that would later be held in the United States Congress in 1968, and events similar to the one in Northern Arizona were filling pages and pages of “extra-terrestrial evidence.” 

There was just one problem:  This was not a UFO.  Though his initial investigation was published in a magazine as “unexplainable,” McDonald was able to gather enough evidence that the “mystery cloud” was NOT an unidentified flying object.  He abandoned the research of this event, and chased after other UFOs. 

Branham, still unaware of the ‘mystery cloud,’ James McDonald’s research, or the magazine article, headed back to preach a series of sermons on the ‘Seven Seals’ of Revelation.  He had a successful hunting trip, was able to help convince a jury to keep a photographer off of death row in Houston, and was ready to ease back into his home life in Jeffersonville.

Taking several quotes from the works of Clarence Larkin, Branham combined Larkin’s study of the Seven Seals with the Book of Revelation, and called it “divinely inspired.”  Still unaware of the event in Northern Arizona, Branham tied his original ‘vision’ of the ‘blast’ with the five angels that represented ‘grace’, to how God gave him the ‘revelation’ of the seven seals.

The “revelation” itself has confused cult followers for years.  While pastors keep telling their congregations that Branham “OPENED” the seven seals, the congregation who studies their Bibles knows that NONE was worthy to open the seals except the Lamb, which is Jesus Christ. 

They are also confused by the “revelation” itself, because besides the works of Clarence Larkin and the Bible quotes, there is really nothing new.  In fact, most of the sermons focus more on the hunting trip and the “blast” event than they do the Seven Seals of Revelation.

Still unaware of the event in Northern Arizona, several sermons follow.  The “spiritual event” he speaks of is not heavenly – he describes seeing a “mist” coming from the ground.  The ‘mist’ supposedly rose to the heavens into the perfect shape of a constellation forming a pyramid – just like the original vision described – with one difference:  There are two additional angels. 

You see, Branham forgot when he tied his number ‘five’ to the word ‘grace’, because that leaves two entire seals out of the equation.  There needs to be seven angels, not five, and he needs to describe that seventh angel as the one with his “chest puffed out.”  …because Branham claimed to be that seventh one.  Humility?

These seven angels, according to Branham, met him one by one in his “study” before each sermon.  And he gets confused a bit when he has to describe that seventh one talking to him in the study, because HE was supposed to be the seventh one with the puffed up chest!

And though he claims to know absolutely nothing about what was contained in each “Seal” before the sermon, there really is not much described other than what Clarence Larkin was able to read from the Book of Revelation.  It would be really interesting to see what Branham could have come up with himself had he not been so busy hunting – but on the other hand, Larkin seemed to do a pretty good job of getting the facts from the Bible.

After Branham was made aware of the event that took place in Northern Arizona, everything changed – except the number of angels, of course.  (They had already changed.)

The event no longer happened to the south – it had to come from the north where the cloud floated.  The angels no longer “flew to Jeffersonville” to give him the “special revelation in his study,” those angels gave him the “revelation” of the Seven Seals in Arizona before they flew to the heavens!  The pyramid constellation slowly transitioned into a “face of Jesus,” and his hunting location had to be as far north as he could get away with – without people catching on to what he was doing.

Hypothetically speaking, the problem presented here would not be so bad if not for what happened next:  This “spiritual cloud” and the associated events began to turn into an idol.  During the remaining years of his life, William Branham would focus on this event several times and in several sermons.  Multiple events would be combined into the “mystery cloud,” ranging from the Alaskan earthquake to the “King’s Sword” Branham claimed to have held. 

Churches would start replacing the Cross of Jesus Christ on their walls with photos of this cloud.  Cult followers would place this idol in their houses, cars, and wallets.  Worst of all: this idol would be placed in the hearts of the people.

This reminds me of what happened in Ezekiel 14:

Then certain of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me.  And the word of the Lord came to me:  “Son of man, these men have taken their idols into their hearts, and set the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces.

This is exactly what people in the Branham cult have done!  They have taken the smoke trail of a rocket detonation, and placed it as an idol in their hearts.   Not only does the idol have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus Christ, it has absolutely nothing to do even with William Branham! 

Should I indeed let myself be consulted by them?  Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Any one of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heart and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the Lord will answer him as he comes with the multitude of his idols, that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols.

Think of it.  Estranged from God through their idols.  Is that why we see the Branham cult in such conflict today?  Is this the reason no two Branham cult churches can agree or fellowship?  Is it because the cloud idol within their hearts has estranged them from God?

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. For any one of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn in Israel, who separates himself from me, taking his idols into his heart and putting the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to a prophet to consult me through him, I the Lord will answer him myself. 

Here is the part that bothers me.  God is angry with idolaters.  God wants to be worshipped by us, but He wants to be worshipped with the full focus of our devotion.  He does not want to be “shared” with some cloud we carry in our hearts!

And I will set my face against that man; I will make him a sign and a byword and cut him off from the midst of my people, and you shall know that I am the Lord.  And if the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.

Think of that!  God is no respecter of persons – not even a prophet!  If the prophet is deceived, it is because God has disowned him, and God will destroy him in the midst of his people!

And they shall bear their punishment—the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike—that the house of Israel may no more go astray from me, nor defile themselves anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be my people and I may be their God, declares the Lord God.”

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Once we learned that the cloud had nothing to do with William Branham, did we still hold that cloud as an idol in our hearts?  Pastors who have known this for years, and do not hang the cloud idol in their churches, do you still hold the cloud as an idol in your hearts?  To the headquarters of the denomination, now that the people all know that you’ve lied to the people for all these years, do you still hold this idol in your hearts? 

When you see what God did to the prophet, do you not fear these words from Ezekiel: The punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike?

Or are you so far deceived that you do not even care that you carry an idol around in your hearts?


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