Video available here: http://youtu.be/HWY78ygNcQ0
I enjoy playing the game of chess. Each piece, big or small, has great importance in their roles to guard the king. The queen, typically the game piece of choice, is the most powerful, and the bishop and rook not far behind.
But while most of my opponents work to protect their queen because of her great power, I find that the game can be driven with just a single pawn. While the pawn is the least in power, the lineup of pawns – when correctly placed – can sway the entire game in my favor.
And they are inexpensive. Not much pain is felt when a pawn serves his purpose to turn the game. I can easily trade a pawn for any of the opponent’s powerful pieces, and further protect my king.
Much like the strategy of deacons in Branham’s cult hierarchy.
In the sermon entitled “Church Order Doctrine,” the sermon that finally established the cult as a denomination, William Branham says this:
A policeman (or the deacon) is a military police to the army, courtesy, but yet with authority. See? You know what a military police is, is actually, if he carries out his rights, I think he's just like a chaplain. You see? It's courtesy and everything, but yet he has an authority. See, you must mind him. See, he puts... These rookies get out there and get drunk, why, he puts them in their place. And so is the deacon to put them in their place. Now, remember, the deacon is a policeman, and a deacon's office is actually more strict than most any office in the church. I don't know of an office any more stricter than the deacon's office. That's right, because he's got a--he's got a real job, and he's God's man. He's God's man just as much as the pastor is God's man. Certainly, he is. He is God's servant.
To the innocent bystander without a Bible, this may sound well and good – because it matches almost every other religious cult hierarchy! The ‘king’ must have a lineup of pawns to ‘police’ the outside Christians from teaching the real Word of God and convincing cult followers to turn back to Christ and the Bible.
I recently watched the ordaining of deacons in a church that I attend, and having been taught “military deacons” from a cult, I found the experience to be very humbling. Why did I not read my bible when listening to this false teacher? Did I really think that this man’s false teaching was greater than the Word of God?
According to Paul’s teachings, there is no “office” of a deacon. The word deacon, “diakonos” in Greek, simply means servant. It is the same word used for the man who served the food at the table, or the woman who cleaned the rooms. And we are ALL to be servants to others, helping one another as we would want others to help us.
If deacon WERE to be an office, it would be a much higher office than pastor or even prophet-king. Matthew 23 says this:
But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
1 Timothy 3:8-4:16 is Paul’s charge to the deacons, and it is truly a night-and-day difference from Branham’s Military Policemen.
Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless.
I personally know several deacons in the Branham cult. I can honestly say that most of them that I know try their very best to match this – as we all should.
Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
Again, the wives of the deacons that I know are very much an example of this scripture. I know that in some of the cult churches some have different experiences, but for me personally, out of the many churches I’ve attended, I can honestly say that the deacons and their wives are very good people with good hearts.
Paul continues to tell the reason why we are to serve each other, servants for Christ:
I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
You may ask yourselves: Why would Paul pause to tell us this when speaking about the role of servants, or deacons. The reason was VERY important, one that Paul re-states throughout each and every one of his letters:
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons,
Remember Branham praying to his “angel?” Ask yourselves, would not an angel of God have rebuked Branham for this, just like the angel in the book of Revelation who told John the Revelator not to worship it? Could that have been a demon on the platform with Branham?
through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,
It is now common knowledge that Branham lied throughout his entire ministry. Undeniable. He gives three birthdates to himself. Tells stories about his father dying young, and other stories about his father dying much later. Poor as dirt, yet close to a millionaire and driving brand-new cars. The list goes on and on and on. Was Branham’s conscience seared?
who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
How many men and women are forbidden to marry in this cult? How many “old widows” have you known in the churches around you? How many teach that wine is sinful, yet drink communion …wine?
Yet Paul says this:
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.
And there we have it: silly myths. Grizzly bears. Antlers. Squirrel stories. Fish stories. Cloud stories. Myths!
According to this single passage, we find that there is not a single deacon – not a single servant – who is living up to their scriptural duties according to Paul. These servants are to bring these things before the elders of the church! They are to put a STOP to the myths, call out the liars, train themselves in the Bible to stand for the Truth!
Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
When Paul says to train ourselves for godliness, there is only One path that leads there. Christ and His Word. Deacons are not to train themselves in any other man’s word – only the Word of God that is found in the Bible. And not filtered through the lenses of any man – let alone a false teacher – they are to be directed by God Himself. The Bible is of no private interpretation.
Paul charged Timothy:
Command and teach these things. Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
To all the deacons in the Branham cult: Have you followed Paul’s instructions? Or did you follow Branham’s? Are you a servant? Or a military policeman for a cult? Do you train yourselves in the Word of God – or have you replaced the Word of God with the “Voice of God” trademark that is stamped on the words of a false teacher and false prophet?
Have you been played like a pawn?