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Works

John Collins05/20/2013



Video available here: http://youtu.be/Be6gYKlTDtA 


In the fall of 1946, a man by the name of Franklin Hall established a center for prayer in San Diego, California, that became known as “A Major Fasting And Prayer Daily Revival Center.”


Many may be unfamiliar with the name Franklin Hall, but thousands have been influenced by his false teaching that apologetics call “deviant teaching.”  


That same year, 1946, Hall published a book entitled “Atomic Power With God Through Fasting and Prayer,” with had a significant impact on the Pentecostal movement.  This book, along with Hall’s teaching, started many men on their way into the faith healing movement.  According to Hall’s newsletter, big names were influenced.  Some of the more familiar names are Gordon Lindsay, A.A. Allen, Tommy Hicks, Oral Roberts, and William Branham.


These men, fasting before healing campaigns, worked the crowds with great success.  But Hall’s influences integrated pagan worship into the scriptural doctrines, just as the Gnostics did during the days of Paul.


Hall is quoted saying, 


“Many, if not all, the American Indian tribes sought revelation of the Great Spirit through Prayer and Fasting. When they had famines, food shortages, lack of rain, etc., the Great Spirit was sought through prayer and fasting, and their prayers were answered.”


Hall’s fasting and healing ministry were spread to thousands through the magazine published by Gordon Lindsay and William Branham.


Franklin Hall started teaching that the Zodiac and the Great Pyramid of Giza were part of the worship of Yahweh, while the scriptures and actual history teach us that they were integrated into pagan worship instead.


After the meetings held in his San Diego fasting house and the success of his fasting book, a young Oral Roberts began his healing ministry.  In 1947, Roberts claimed that he was commissioned by God himself to go forth healing the sick.  And not just through the power of prayer.  According to Roberts, and just like Moses, he was given a sign.


In his life story, Roberts claims that God came down to him and said this:


“Son, you have been faithful up to this hour, and now you will feel My presence in your right hand. Through My presence, you will be able to detect the presence of demons. You will know their number and name and through my power, they will be cast out" 

(Oral Roberts, My Story, 1961, p. 151)


Roberts, like Branham, passed out prayer cards during his healing campaigns in the packed tent meetings.  


Roberts required those requesting prayer to secure a prayer card during one of the afternoon meetings.  Healing services were held at night, but during the afternoons, there were meetings for instruction on how to gain healing.




This is very interesting, because not long after Roberts began his healing ministry, not long after being “given his sign,” we find a similar story taking place.


Also in 1947, William Branham revised his commission to heal the sick.  Like Roberts, Branham changed his commission story to include a visitation by God, and being given a sign.  His sign?  A vibration in the hand, just like Roberts.

In his “New Commission Story,” entitled “How The Angel Came To Me And His Commission,” Branham says this about his hand vibration:


As the prophet Moses was given two gifts, signs to vindicate his ministry, so will you be given two. He said, "One of them will be that you'll take the person that you're praying for by the hand, with your left hand and their right," and said, "then just stand quiet, and there'll be a physical effect that'll happen on your body. Then you pray. And if it leaves, the disease is gone from the people. ( How the Angel Came to Me, and His Commission  


Branham and Roberts were both given the “gift” of hand vibrations in their right hand.


This “gift” is key, because of the combination.  Fasting, Zodiac, and hand vibrations while associated with healing are directly integrated into the occult teachings of Wicca.  


Wiccan healers rely heavily on the numbers, which are precisely calculated according to the stars, or the Zodiac.  But before ritual, fasting is an integral part of the pagan worship.


Wiccan healers “see” with their hands.  Magnetic pulls, vibrations, and warmth are felt during ritual, and the hand is the eye to the spiritual realm.


According to “Wicca Spirituality”:


pass your hand just above the ritual supplies, and feel for warmth or tingling sensations, or vibration, or a magnetic pull toward one.


The more powerful Wiccan healers, those with clairvoyant abilities, claim to see angels or demons.


In the days of Paul, the origins of these practices were more evident than they are today.  In the pagan temples of the ancient world, those who practiced sorcery were well known in their cities.  Part of the change in culture for the early church was to become separate from worship to elemental spirits.


But with the influence of men like Franklin Hall, the deviant teaching is much more subtle.  The occult is mixed directly with Christianity.  The scriptures are twisted to fit the occult -- because the occult cannot be twisted to fit Christianity.


This influence has changed one of the most fundamental teachings in the New Testament:  


It has changed the perception of what Paul meant when he described “works.”  


To these cult leaders, their theology twists the meaning of “works” into that of “signs” and “wonders.”  But Paul called those things the “works of the flesh,” and openly condemned them.  Paul would have abhorred an entire ministry that focused on the “works” of “healing the sick.”  Paul would have abhorred the entire faith healing movement, because it put the focus onto the “healer” and not the God that they should be serving.


These men and women involved with the faith healing ministry all fell to false prophecy, sexual sins, love of money and more.  As their ministry produced followers, they always wanted more.  But instead of being content with what God had given, they turned towards other means to increase their following.  


Our opinion is that this is the very reason that William Branham changed his original “commission story” that he gave in 1945 in his tract “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision” to match that of Oral Roberts.  He couldn’t let Roberts get ahead!


Healing of the body is an earthly thing.  We have been taught by those in the Divine Healing Movement that God does not intend for us to be sick, so we should claim our healing.  But what if through our faith in Christ during sickness another soul is lead to Christ?


Is the healing of our earthly body worth more to us than the soul of our brother?  


Paul calls this the desires of the flesh, and he condemns it.


In Galations 5, Paul says:


For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. 


It is interesting when you consider the comments Branham makes about Oral Roberts’ ministry.  Especially when you consider Branham’s change in marketing in a feeble attempt to copy Oral Roberts.  Branham was consumed with popularity, but until the day of his death, he never received a fraction of Roberts’ popularity.


Paul says do not give in to these desires:


But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  


But here is the key, and here is the direct contrast between William Branham’s false teaching and the True Word of God:


But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.


Paul warns against the very heart of what we see within the Divine Healing movement.  Paul warns against what we see as the fruits of the spirit to all of the men that Branham idolized: Charles Taze Russell, John Alexander Dowie, Joseph Smith.  Paul warns against the pagan influence of Franklin Hall, who seems to start a young Oral Roberts and inadvertently starts a young William Branham as a copycat.


Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. 


This is no small warning.  Paul had warned Galatia before, and reminded them that these things are NOT of God.


I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  


So you ask yourselves this:  WHAT are the works?  I have been taught by Branham that “These signs shall follow those that believe!”  And Branham pointed that scripture to his healing ministry!  That is a Scripture, right?


We have to be very careful with Mark 16.  Not only is that portion of scripture not found among all of the families of Bible scrolls, many have twisted it to an occult meaning rather than Paul’s description of the fruits of the spirit.


That is the influence speaking, and it is the exact thing that Paul just condemned.  Jesus Himself said that an evil and adulterous generation seek after a sign, but Branham twisted scriptures to convince a following that his “signs and wonders” were what Paul called “works” that should be present in a people filled with the Holy Spirit.  


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.


Think about the poor brother in Tucson who lived in a wheelchair until the day of his death, painfully hoping to rise and walk again because William Branham gave him false hope.  Does God fail?


Think of the desperate father who was told that his son would live, Donnie Morton.  Does God give false hope?  Is this REALLY the “works” that Paul wants us to have, works that fail?  


Or does God give true hope, faith, and love with works of the Holy Spirit?  Which is more powerful?  Guessing that a person might be healed and walk again -- unless it is what Branham called a “hard case?”  


What IS a “hard case” for God?  Nothing!


God is not calling a bunch of sorcerers.  God is not calling us to mimic Wiccan healers, medicine men, or Hindu priests.  God is calling a Body of Christ that is filled with the fruits of the Spirit.


So as you look around the cult churches around the world, ask yourselves: What are the fruits of the Spirit that you see in the churches?  Where can you find any fruit of the Divine Healing?  Where is the minister who can fill truckloads with crutches from the crippled?  Where is the minister who can fill halls of people with cancer and heal every one of them with the power of God?  


These are works of the flesh.


Now ask yourselves about the fruits of the Spirit that Paul describes.  Why is it that no two cult churches can fellowship with one another?  Why is it that no two cult churches believe the same doctrines?  Why are some more “progressive” while others are more “fundamental?”  Why do some place focus on the outward appearance while others place more on “works” of the flesh?


Then ask yourselves: which would you rather be?  Filled with the fruits of the Spirit that Paul describes?  Or filled with a Wiccan vibrating hand?