The Gospel: What We Stand ForJohn Collins3/19/2013 1:48:00 PMWatching a documentary that the History Channel made about The Bible last night, I came to a sobering conclusion: The world, though condemned by cult leaders, understands the Gospel of Jesus Christ more than these false teachers like William Branham.
So many today have forgotten what the word, "Gospel" truly means. I recently had a cult follower come to 'witness' to me about the false prophet, and I made this statement. She agreed with me, blaming this on the pastors and not the false prophet, but then a shocking turn in the conversation astounded me even more. I asked her, "So what do YOU think it means?" Her answer in no way, shape, or form was even close to the meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
You see, cult leaders do not teach the Gospel of Christ that is in the scriptures. They teach a different gospel. Most followers of a cult leader, and even those who have escaped, do not even know that they have replaced the True Gospel with something else. Most will tell you that the "gospel" means "power," and will associate some spiritual sign, wonder, or manifestation of the Holy Spirit to this word, forgetting the reason for God sending His only Son. In the 1200+ sermons recorded by William Branham, the real Gospel is not proclaimed - not one single time.
We should not take this lightly, and while cult followers will tell you we are to judge no one, they are not following Paul's instructions to the church. We absolutely are to judge false doctrine, especially a different gospel. In this instance, Paul condemns not only the 'message', but also the 'messenger.'
Galatians 1:8 says this: "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed."
Let's place ourselves in Paul's shoes, following Paul's instructions. Let's take these words, place the names of those who did this abomination into Paul's instruction, and see what we end up with:
If Joseph Smith, or the angel he claimed to have met preaches to you any other gospel, we should condemn him.
If any other false teacher, false prophet, false leader or lying storyteller tells you any other gospel than the one Paul taught and the Bible confirmed, we should condemn them!
Like it or not, William Branham should be included in this test.
Since so many have forgotten the Gospel of Jesus Christ, even among those who will watch or read this, we should remind them of the Gospel. We should remind them that the Gospel of Jesus Christ does not just start with the great signs and wonders, but it flows through every page of the book from start to finish.
Adam's race had fallen. The serpent deceived Eve, and Adam sinned. - not Eve as these false teachers would have you believe; she was deceived, Adam sinned and broke the Covenant made with God. It does not matter what you believe about 'the fruit,' the focal point of this part of the story is that Adam disobeyed God, and sin entered into the world.
God made a Covenant with Abraham, that his seed would grow and flourish until it became as the sands of the sea. But Israel was young, oppressed, and taken into slavery. In His master plan, God appointed Pharoah for this part of the story, oppressing them into a broken-down people, and sent Moses as their deliverer. Just as Christ would one day deliver us from our sins, Moses delivered them from their slavery with help from God.
But mankind did not understand sin; since the garden of Eden, it had always been there. It was a part of life to them, and they did not understand the evil that sin brought into their lives. When the children of Israel had matured enough to understand, God had to show them. And so He sent the Law.
With Ten Commandments, God gave instructions to the people. The most important, according to the New Testament, was to love God, and the second was to love each other as they loved themselves. But they did not understand. What did that entail?
The people sent Moses back up the mountain for the Mosaic Law. They needed rules and boundaries, because they did not understand. But while Moses was on the mountain, they broke the commandments by making an idol and worshipping it.
Moses pleaded with God on their behalf, just as Christ pleads with the Father on our behalf. God held back the curse of the Law, giving them one more chance.
You see, the Law had two parts. A blessing if the people kept the commandments, and a curse if they broke the commandments. For the entire rest of the Old Testament, example after example, history shows that mankind can never live perfect lives. Sin was molded into the nature of their being. And just as the people of today have forgotten the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the children of Israel repeatedly forgot about the Law. Some humble servant would find the Law, re-establish the Law, and the cycle would start again. But each time, mankind failed God.
Over time, the 'love' part was forgotten. The law became nothing more than a set of rules, much like the United States tax system of today. To the children of Israel, they were nothing more than boundaries, and men were established to study the boundaries and how much the people could give and take to get away with. They had forgotten the reason the Law was given, and the 'love' was replaced with 'greed' and 'selfishness.' Each time, they fell under the curse of the Law until they finally had fallen so far they could never fulfill the requirements that God had established. The curse was their destiny, and the blessings of the Covenant were forgotten. They could not fulfill their part of the agreement.
But God was patient. Though they did not love God above all, God loved them. The prophets started to proclaim that God would fulfill his part of the Covenant, and establish a New Covenant with Israel. Their message? "A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son. â€¦.yes, a "SON," making her mother - contrary to these false teachers.
For years and years, this prophecy was forgotten. Like the reason for the Law, the Redeemer who would fulfill the Law was forgotten. But then it happened: A virgin conceived.
John The Baptist proclaimed the coming Christ, with a ministry that announced His arrival. The was the Messiah, the one who would restore the fallen Israel. John's message was of the Kingdom of Heaven that would be established, and how the hearts of men would return to the hearts of their fathers before the reason for the Law was forgotten.
The word "Gospel" means "Good News." John's message was the start of the Good News; it was the message that Christ would soon be arriving to restore Israel to their blessings from God. Christ would fulfill the part of the Covenant that they could not fulfill, and once again Israel would be under favor in God's eyes.
The "Gospels," Matthew, Mark, Luke, John all proclaim the Good News that the Messiah came to earth. It gave examples of His perfect life, how he was able to fulfill the Covenant without a single mistake. Even tempted in the desert by the serpent, Christ remained pure to the Law, keeping not only the "boundaries," but displaying the perfect Love that the Law was created to impart.
God became both God and Man, both Creator and mother's child, so that he could fulfill the part that Man could not fulfill. But the story does not end there.
Christ established the Kingdom of Heaven, though He was the stone that the builders rejected. While John proclaimed that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, Christ gave many examples to show how and when the Kingdom would be established. And though they could not understand it, the Kingdom was being established before their very eyes.
But someone had to suffer the penalty for the Law. Mankind had failed, and the penalty was too great for the entire human race to pay. It required a sacrifice greater than the blood of goats and lambs could atone. God had to sacrifice His only Son.
Christ suffered and died on the cross, the very worst way to die that was known to man at that time. Not only did Christ have to be nailed to a cross, he had to carry his own cross up the long path up the hill. He had to be beaten, bruised, and tortured for each one of us. Christ had to pay each requirement for our sins with His own Blood. For you and I, he suffered and died a horrible death.
But He was God. The story does not end there.
While Branham's false gospel teaches that Jesus died as just a man, the entire book tells us that man cannot atone for our sins. The cult leaders and false teachers that Branham followed to get this theology would have you believe a different gospel, one that cannot atone for sin. Jesus was God. He said, "I and the Father are One."
Christ, The Redeemer, The King - God - died so that we can die with him. He conquered death so that we do not have to die. He rose again so that we can rise with him. He sits at the right hand of the Father in His Majesty on High. He is worthy of praise in His fullness - not partially as Branham did. The fullness of God dwelt in Christ, but now Christ went back to the fullness of God. He sits at the right hand of the Father - He does not sit at the right hand of himself and Branham would have you believe. He sent His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, he did not send Himself as Branham would have you believe. These Three are God, and These Three are One.
Cult leaders deny the Holy Spirit that lives within the hearts of the people. They train you to believe that you must have "power" to have the Holy Spirit - they make the Holy Spirit some great "achievement" instead of the Gift that God has given us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They will tell you that your love one for the other is not enough manifestation of the Holy Spirit. They will teach you that your real experience with God was 'just an emotion,' and that you need to continue seeking the Holy Ghost. -and if you never had that experience, and the Holy Spirit is not molding you, changing you into the perfect Love that Christ taught, then you still need that experience.
But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not some great sign or wonder. It is not some power that can be bought or earned through our achievements. This is the very thing that the people missed, the very reason God sent His Son! To show us that we could NOT achieve perfection by ourselves!
The Gospel of William Branham is that we have to become perfect in ourselves, to achieve "rapturing faith." Branham knew just enough about the Bible to know that man could NEVER achieve this. While he lied to you about speaking things into existence, he knew that you would never be able to do it, because this is a false gospel, and not one that Paul proclaimed.
What would the apostle Paul say about Branham's 'gospel,' and which gospel would Paul point us to? The Gospel of the Bible? Or another gospel?