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Pride

John Collins04/25/2013

Video available here: http://youtu.be/toxm8clExJ8

In the ministry of William Branham, and the cult that was established to follow him, there is one subject that is seldom preached:  Pride.

Pride is the elephant in the room.  Most pastors know they suffer from pride, but don’t fully understand why.  Many imitators of the pastors suffer from pride, not realizing that they are imitating the very sin the pastors try to hide from the people.  I’ve often wondered why so many in this cult and others like it are so filled with pride.

In the over 1000 sermons of William Branham, pride is seldom mentioned.  Many times when mentioned, Branham is describing his “Kentucky Pride,” or using it as an insult to theologians because they are studying to learn the scriptures.  It is ironic, because some theologians are almost worshipped by Branham, like George Lamsa, and they are further from the Truth than many of the men Branham condemned.  Lamsa denied the deity of Christ, and changed “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me” to the heretical words, “My God, My God, for this I was spared.”

It is interesting when you consider that in 1955, William Branham preached a sermon with the title “Pride,” yet only mentioned that word twice in the entire sermon:  Once for the title, and once for the description of the title. 

Even more ironic is that the entire sermon was exactly opposite from what it should have been – Branham was actually promoting pride rather than opposing it!

In the sermon, the point Branham tries to drive home is an example of crows and doves.  He used the example of crows for anyone who did not hold to his way of thinking, or those who knew that he was lying about so many things, while he used the example of “doves” for the “little bride” that he called his small congregations.

Rather than the example Christ gave us, the many examples of the Lamb eating, conversing, supporting, and uplifting the “crows,” Branham takes a different stance:  Branham’s dove must stay away from the crows!

It is actually quite comical if you break the sermon down to sections:

The first section was Divine Healing, and he gave many examples of “I did this,” and “I did that.”  He gave the very prideful story of his challenge to a doctor, the one where he said that if the person wasn’t healed that the doctor would have to wear a sign on his back that said “Quack Doctor.”  And if the doctor won the bet, Branham would wear the sign “False Prophet.” 

Not only do many theologians Branham condemned know that this is a very prideful, sinful statement, they also know that you never preach in support of gambling to an audience that condemns it!

Also, right before the title of the sermon is given, Branham admits that he doesn’t teach Divine Healing from a doctrinal standpoint in the sermon the previous night.  So instead, Branham gives many examples in the life of Jesus Christ, and shows how similar they are to his own ministry!  At that point, pride became selfishness – to uplift one’s self to the level of Christ is not only sinful, but could even be considered blasphemy.

As Christians, we DO have full access to the gifts by the Holy Spirit.  But we can never lose sight of the fact that the Holy Spirit is the one helping us, and only because of Jesus Christ.

We don’t go boasting to doctors, who are probably Christians themselves, that their work is useless and our “power” is greater than theirs!  I would almost guarantee that the doctor Branham challenged (if the story itself is not another fabrication) had saved many lives.  Each life he saved, if he were a true Christian, would bring praise and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, and not to himself.

As soon as the title is given, Branham starts into the “dove and crow” ministry.  Separate yourselves.  Do not associate with those other guys over there, they are sinners!  They don’t believe me, so they are lost!  Doomed to hell!  No chance for them through our witness – let them fend for themselves, and maybe God will snatch a few of them from the fire!

Many cult ministers today have this same theology.  It came directly from William Branham!  Have you ever stopped to consider WHO it is that God sends to help those people that the cult pastors refuse to help?  Could it be that the theologians Branham condemned are bringing more souls to Christ than the ministry of William Branham?  There is an awful lot of sinners in the world out there, and the “little bride” is by nature … little!  Jesus said, “The harvest is great but the workers are few!”

Branham also gives a statement that is spitefully wrong:

So a hypocrite, an impostor, he can go to the world and affiliate with the world, and act like the world, and live in the world, and enjoy the pleasures of the world, and come to church and pretend to be a Christian. But the real Christian can't go out into the world and come back; there's something wrong. --55-0807A  PRIDE

That is the very reason that cult pastors emphasize “They went out from among us because they were not of us!” 

What if Jesus Christ did that?  What if he ignored the entire Children of Israel because they continually fell into sin?  What if he told the woman at the well, “You are a hypocrite, and impostor, and you have left a good and Godly life.  You can never come back!”

Jesus did not teach like this.  Jesus threw it back into the faces of men like William Branham, “Whoever is without sin, cast the first stone!”  Whoever fills their sermons with lies, cast the first stone!

The biggest irony in the entire sermon is this:

Branham pretends to be a theologian, pretends to be a study of the Greek language, pretends to have examined the word “Pharisee,” and gleamed its meaning from the context of scripture.  He says that the word means “actor,” one who acts.  One who pretends to be righteous, one who is putting on a show.

The meaning of the word actually derives from the Hebrew root “prs”, which means to “separate” or to “detach!”  The meaning of the word Pharisee is the primary foundation for the entire cult of William Branham!  It is EXACTLY Branham’s theology to “Separate yourselves” to be a tiny cult in the corner of a large room of Christians!

This puts William Branham, pride and all, into the same category as the Pharisees during the days of Jesus!

Listen to Josephus’ descriptions of the Pharisees, and compare how similar they are to that of William Branham:

Josephus says the Pharisees maintained a simple lifestyle (Ant18.1.3 [12]), were affectionate and harmonious in their dealings with others (War 2.8.14 [166]), especially respectful to their elders (Ant18.13 [12]), and quite influential throughout the land of Israel (Ant13.10.5 [288]; 17.2.4 [41-45]; 18.1.3 [15])although at the time of Herod they numbered only about six thousand (Ant17.2.4 [42]). Josephus mentions their belief in both fate (divine sovereignty) and the human will (War 2.8.14 [163], Ant18.1.3 [13]) and in immortality of both good and evil persons (War 2.8.14 [16]; Ant17.1.3 [14]). Some Pharisees refused to take oaths (Ant17.2.4 [42]). Of particular importance are Josephus's statements that the Pharisees adhered to "the laws of which the Deity approves" (Ant17.2.4 [41]) and that they "are considered the most accurate interpreters of the laws" (War 2.8.14 [162]). Pharisees "follow the guidance of that which their doctrine has selected and transmitted as good, attaching the chief importance to the observance of those commandments which it has seen fit to dictate to them" (Ant18.1.3 [12]) and they "passed on to the people certain regulations handed down by former generations and not recorded in the Laws of Moses" (Ant17.2.4 [41]; 13.10.6 [297]). 

http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/pharisees.html

The entire rest of the sermon was prideful against those who studied their bibles, especially those who went to school to learn more.  He mocks them in examples like “Doctor Simon Pharisee,” “Doctor Jones,” and more.

At the end of this CRAZY WRONG sermon, not a single Christian stood to their feet during the alter call.  This upset Branham. 

Most Christians, who study their Bibles and know that pride is a sin, would never have sat through that sermon without the Holy Spirit ringing warning bells in their ears.  In fact, I would not be surprised if a few did not get up and leave! 

But Branham’s anger and pride grew.  He condemned them, filled with pride that was bursting at the seams during the closing prayer.  The prayer itself was prideful!  I’m right, you’re wrong, now you are all going to hell for not listening to me!

Heavenly Father, to this audience that's here today, I've offered them, according to Thy Word, Eternal, Everlasting Life through Jesus Christ the Son of God. I do not know their hearts, why they did not accept it. I seen the darkness and blackness through the vision, hanging over people. Thou knowest and seen others healed, even physically, while they were--the sermon was going on.

And Your Presence was here; it's here yet. Why people don't receive you, it's beyond me. I can't understand. Maybe they've crossed the line, where they can't do it no more. Maybe they've heard it before and you said, "I will not always strive with men." That's up to you, Father, I don't know. I commend them all to You, praying that not one will be lost. I thank You for all that You've done. And I ask Your blessings upon all of them, Father.  -- 55-0807A  PRIDE

I don’t know about you, but this prayer just makes you sick to your stomach!  What if Paul or Peter had done things like this!  Would there even be a single Christian church in your country if Paul had preached with such an attitude of scorn. 

Proverbs 16:18 says that “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Even worse, Proverbs 8:13 says that “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

And Paul did not preach against theologians who studied to gain more knowledge of God.  In fact, he gave them full support:  “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:5

Listen to the night-and-day difference between Branham’s sermon on “pride,” and the one the Apostle Paul gives.  Branham preaches on the topic of Pride, and it is difficult in the examples given to determine whether he supports it or is against it.  All the while, he is so filled with pride himself that the congregation refused him at the alter call.

But Paul preaches against pride, definitely, all throughout his ministry.  And when giving his section of the letter against pride, he does it with humility:

2 Corinthians 10:

I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!— I beg of you that when I am present I may NOT have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh.  For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,  being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ's, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ's, so also are we.  For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed.  I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters.  For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”  Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present.  Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.

But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you.  For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ.  We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged,   so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's area of influence.  “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”  For it is NOT the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.

So after we see this CRAZY wrong teaching in this CRAZY wrong sermon, I have a question to all the new apologetics that are spring up in cities around the world.  There are so many apologetics springing up that have now found that Branham’s ministry is riddled with false prophecy.  Not a single prophecy can be proven to have BEEN prophesied BEFORE the event happened, and then after the prophecy is described later, it changes over time to morph into another prophecy.

They are now talking about the prophecies, and they are talking about all the lies.  How not a single one of his life stories match, how he lied about practically every story, how he’s hiding the first twenty-five years of his life.

My question is this:  The prophecies, the lies, and more.  Are they as damaging to the Body of Christ as the false teaching?  Are these prophecies that have been proven to have failed, or these lies that he has been caught recording the most damaging, or is it the false teaching that is building up prideful people?