Video available here: http://youtu.be/Abw5dOWPf_Y
Sleepwalking is a disorder that occurs when people walk or do another activity while they are still asleep. Though the patient is actively moving about by the same nerves and muscles used when awake, he or she has no awareness of their surroundings. Once awakened, the patient may not even remember the event.
There is a similar disorder, “sleep talking,” which is much the same. Instead of the patient moving around, they sometimes even speak complete sentences without being aware that words are flowing through their mouths.
In these cases, the patient is in control of their actions physically – the nerves are sending signals to the muscles invoking the action. But mentally, they are not in control of the situation. Nor can they stop it.
In the spiritual sense, prophecy is much the same. Not the false prophecy, induced by starvation, drugs, herbs, or other means – I’m talking about the Word that comes directly from God in the form of a spiritual gift. When Word comes from God, man has no power to take control. Otherwise, it would be “tainted words” and not fully from God.
To the cult of William Branham, Branham’s use of the phrase “Thus Saith The Lord” has altered our understanding of the significance behind these words. Though the followers know this phrase comes from the King James Version of the Bible, the phrase itself has almost become more associated with Branham’s ministry than with the scriptures for most members of the cult.
When the prophets of the Old Testament went forward with a message, they often made the statement, “Thus Saith The Lord.” In today’s English, this would be a phrase like this: “I put myself out of the way, and then God spoke through me and said.”
Branham’s understanding of this phrase was very limited. According to Branham, it must be a vindicated prophet:
But the only person that has a right to say, THUS SAITH THE LORD, is a vindicated prophet. --BRANHAM, 50-0405 EXPECTATIOS
There are two problems with this statement:
- NOBODY has the “RIGHT” to say this – God is in control, not the man. God chooses whom He will to do as He pleases. For Branham to say that only specific people have this ‘right,’ he was clearly trying to limit his competition.
- The word ‘vindicated’ here confused the entire following, through all of these years. Many people call William Branham a ‘vindicated prophet,’ not even knowing what they are saying!
Actually, Branham got the order in reverse. When the prophet speaks, the WORD from the LORD is vindicated by whether or not the Word comes to pass. The prophet is not ‘vindicated,’ only the prophecy is!
Prophets do not get three strikes like a baseball game. If one single solitary prophecy fails, then that prophet is a false prophet. It means that their prophecy was induced by something other than God – from a wide variety of means known to ‘shamans’ in religions around the globe. One of which Branham himself admittedly practiced: fasting!
Branham used these words as a ‘catch phrase.’ He made sure that everyone feared these words, and then twisted their meaning so that they confused his followers. The words themselves became a ‘substance,’ something other than simply a prophet putting himself out of the way so that God could speak directly through him.
Branham taught otherwise:
If a prophet, or a dreamer, or whatever it is, or a teacher, hasn't based his theory exactly on THUS SAITH THE LORD, I don't believe it. -BRANHAM, 54-0514 THE.SEAL.OF.GOD
Were all of his prophecy to come to pass as he said, this would not be as big of a problem. If his teachings aligned fully with scripture, instead of inventing strange scriptures like ‘a woman who cuts her hair should be divorced – thus saith the lord’, this would not raise any red flags.
But Branham’s problem was that this became more of a campaign slogan than it was a description of how a prophet humbles himself, puts himself out of the way, so that the Almighty God can speak through him and use him as God sees fit.
Somehow along the way, it got as easy as corn bread and beans: anyone can say it:
Look. Oh, brother, this is like corn bread and beans; It sticks to your ribs. It'll hold you some way, you can go and do a good day's work for the Lord tomorrow, go out and meet the devil, say, "I know where I'm standing, not because a chill run down my back, because THUS SAITH THE LORD. Move off, Satan, I'm taking over now." --BRANHAM, 53-0326 ISRAEL.AND.THE.CHURCH.2
If we take a progression of these “Thus Saith The Lord’isms” from William Branham, we see a very strange progression:
His visions often told how that Communism was a tool by the hand of the Almighty God to destroy the Catholic Church:
I'll prove to you that communism is working straight in the hands of Almighty God to destroy the Roman... And remember, I say this as God's prophet: The Russian empire will drop an atomic bomb of some sort on the Vatican City and destroy it in one hour. THUS SAITH THE LORD. And the Bible said that God took them cruel-hearted men and put them in His hands, and they were instruments in His hands to fulfill His will, and to bring back to her exactly what she had coming to her. That's exactly. That's the Word. --BRANHAM, 54-0513 THE.MARK.OF.THE.BEAST_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN
Now if this were truly Thus Saith The Lord, Branham would not have been the one speaking – God would have. This paragraph would be set in stone, not altered, and we could place our highest possible wager that this would happen – because IT WOULD! If God was speaking, the Great I AM who IS at the garden of Eden and who IS at the End of Days, God already knows what is going to happen because He IS.
But for William Branham, when Communism did not hold audiences with fear tactics, this “Thus Saith The Lord” started to become altered. He contradicts himself when Communism was no longer such a great threat:
But these religious teachers are trying to put it on communism, when they don't realize it's working right in their own midst. -BRANHAM, 54-0514 THE.SEAL.OF.GOD
If Branham’s original statement were truly from God, then Branham just argued with GOD!
Worse, this Thus Saith The Lord, which is essentially prophecy, is completely reversed by William Branham. No longer is Communism a tool to fight Romanism – Branham now starts to claim that Romanism is going to fight Communism! The exact opposite of the words that God supposedly spoke through him!
Heading up in the federation of churches, which will finally join with Romanism to fight Catholicism--or with Catholicism to fight Communism. Pope John is calling for all the churches to come back, and they will. And they'll unite themselves together, just exactly what THUS SAITH THE LORD.
BRANHAM, 60-0221 HEARING.RECOGNIZING.ACTING.ON.THE.WORD.OF.GOD
Luckily, 1 Corinthians 14:8 teaches us this, and we can fear neither Communism or Catholicism, for this trumpet has certainly given an uncertain sound:
For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle?
There are four sets of scriptures dealing with prophets that is absolutely fitting when you consider how William Branham started teaching the exact opposite of what he claimed was the “Word of the Lord.” The first one is found in James:
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. James 1:26
If a person thinks that he is filled with the spirit, but his own words condemn himself, James said that this person’s religion is worthless! Good for nothing! Worthless religion would not offer salvation!
Paul warns us about these men with worthless religions, like William Branham:
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind
Think of the “angel” on the platform that supposedly did the healing. The “angel” that wore a turban when he was promoting an India campaign. The angel that met him in a cabin with a wood floor with a wood stove, or in a cave with a dirt floor depending upon the story. The angel that Branham convinced a following to worship, claiming that Michael the Archangel was Jesus Christ!
Deuteronomy tells us what happens to these prophets who claim they received a word from the Lord when they actually did not:
But the prophet who shall speak a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he shall speak in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And you may say in your heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy. 18:20-22
Many who have come out of the Branham cult are now skeptical of prophecy. Knowing that Branham lied about each one of them, and not a single one happened as he said they would, these people are hesitant to entertain the idea of any prophecy from any man.
The same thing was going on in Paul’s day. Paul gave us instruction of what to do after we find out that William Branham got his prophecies from some other way that the God of the Bible:
Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:20-22