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Gnostic texts, deemed as heresy long ago, contain many stories that do not align with the Scripture. They contain interesting ‘mysteries’ that catch the attention of the weaker-minded, but they do not contain Truth. They contain fiction. This fiction, unfortunately, is mistaken for “truth” in the Branham cult churches.
In level of magnitude, the greatest story in the history of the ancient world is also the story that has been the most tainted from Gnostic text. As a former Branham cult follower, I remember all too well the fictional story of fear that gripped the hearts of the poor and oppressed followers.
This is the story of Noah and The Flood.
The Gnostic book of Enoch is filled with worship of angels, elemental spirits, sun, moon, and stars. It is a book of heresy that can lead hearts astray by mistaking fiction for Truth.
Most translations of the Book of Enoch also contain fragments of the “Book of Noah,” which is also both Gnostic and heresy. In the Book of Enoch, Noah conversed with Enoch. According to the fictional story, Enoch lived to be five-hundred years old, and Enoch warned Noah of the coming flood.
And in those days Noah saw the earth that it had sunk down and its destruction was nigh. And he arose from thence and went to the ends of the earth, and cried aloud to his grandfather Enoch: and Noah said three times with an embittered voice: Hear me, hear me, hear me. And I said unto him: Tell me what it is that is falling out on the earth that the earth is in such evil plight and shaken, lest perchance I shall perish with it?
The Book of Enoch is also a book of fear. The destruction of the world is magnified in the story, God’s faithfulness to Noah is lessoned. The angels are given power to become “gods among us.” They are all referred to by name, associated with both astrology and elemental spirits, and are captivating in their power and awe. As a fictional sci-fi novel, it would be captivating, but as a religious work it is heresy.
Many fire-and-brimstone false teachers combine verses to invent new ‘scriptures,’ and even add elements to the story that spell impending doom. These are nothing more than fear tactics.
One of the worst additions to the story of Noah and the Flood by William Branham is blasphemous. Branham altered God’s covenant with Noah! In his fire-and-brimstone theology, he decided to add the destruction of the entire earth by fire into the covenant that God made with Noah.
William Branham said this:
I thought, "O God, looky there at the great eye of Jehovah setting yonder looking across the mountain there with His rainbow, His covenant. He will no more destroy it with water, but fire next time."
William Branham taught straight out of these Gnostic texts, teaching that Enoch lived five-hundred years and walked with Noah, that other Christians – those who believe in Jesus Christ but not in his Gnostic theology – need be fearful of the impending doom.
After the flood subsided, and Noah once again set his feet upon the ground, the first thing Noah did was worship God and give thanks to Him for his undying love and mercy.
He built an altar, and prepared a sacrifice from the clean animals that were with him on the ark. This aroma pleased God, and God decided that he never again would do this to mankind.
The Bible says that in his heart, God said,
“I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.
This thought, in the heart of God, is entirely different than what the false teachers would have us to believe. They routinely teach that the ground is cursed, and that this is “Satan’s Eden.” They teach that the world will be cursed by fire, and that God told Noah that he would destroy the world next time by fire instead of water.
But God said that he would never again curse the ground, and never again strike down every living creature as He had done in the days of Noah.
Jesus used The Flood as an example when describing the coming Day of the Lord:
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one left. Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
But the words of Jesus Christ were not good enough for William Branham. Nor were the intentions of the writers in the Bible Cannon that we accept as the inspired Word of God.
Peter’s reference to The Flood was speaking of God’s faithfulness to Noah, and specifically to baptism.
when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 3
Peter’s reference speaks to the souls being saved by water, however Jesus is referring to the swift destruction of the wicked by that same water. The water that offered salvation to Noah also brought death to the wicked.
But though these two scriptures are speaking of two polar opposite topics, one the righteous and the other the unrighteous, Branham decides to combine them into a brand-new “scripture!”
He claims that Jesus said something entirely different:
“Remember, He said, ‘As it was in the days of Noah, wherein eight souls were saved, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man.’”
On the surface this may sound like scripture, but it is ever so slightly twisted into a different meaning. When combined, these two scriptures sound like Jesus is saying that only eight souls will be saved at the Second Coming! And in the context Branham uses this combination of two polar-opposite scriptures, he uses this new “verse” as a fear tactic to lead the listener to believe that it will ONLY be a tiny group – which he claims to be his own followers!
When Branham preached the sermon entitled “A Greater Than Solomon Is Here,” the sermon that sounds suspiciously as if he is claiming that he is the one “greater than Solomon,” Branham uses this new verse he invented to describe the condition of those who did not ascribe to his false teaching:
Just when the revival's going, and the Spirit of God is moving, God is moving with the people, then when He gets that crop out, weeded out, that's it. That's for that generation. Remember, He said, "As it was in the days of Noah, wherein eight souls were saved, so shall it be in the coming of the Son of man." See? Each generation will just produce so many. And that's the way you see it today. Everywhere it's just a dying away, a falling away. Sin is collapsing in everything.
62-0628 A.GREATER.THAN SOLOMON.IS.HERE
What Branham missed is that the story of Noah and the Flood was an example of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mankind was becoming worse and worse, and sin was taking over. Good men and women were falling to sin each day. Noah had faith in God, and so God sent him the master plan to build a boat. Noah was made worthy by his faith in God, and that Faith in God raised him up. He was baptized in The Flood, and started a brand-new life with his family in what seemed like a whole-new world.
This is exactly the Gospel of Jesus Christ as it applies to my own life. Living in a world of sin, worshipping in a cult that worshipped a man, and everyone around me was so consumed with worship of the cult leader that they could no longer even see the discrepancies between his false teachings and the scripture. But I had faith in Jesus Christ, and he already had the master plan.
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Which “Bible” do we want to believe? The one Branham “invented” by combining scriptures and incorporating heretical text from Gnostic writings? The one that Branham added to the Covenants that God made with His children so that he could twist their meaning for his own agenda?
Or do you want to believe the Bible that is the inspired Word of God? The one that was kept and protected down through the ages from g eneration to generation? The one that was kept, even though passed through families of scribes, handwritten and passed from city to city?
Do you want to believe the Word that was in the beginning and was with God and WAS God? Or do you want to believe the new one that Branham invented to sponsor a few good hunting trips?