Video available here: http://youtu.be/Pjt4CvrF8fs
John Alexander Dowie, the founder of the “Zionist” cult in what would later be named “Zion, Illinois,” promoted himself to be the return of Elijah the prophet. Dowie, like other cult leaders, twisted the meaning of the fourth chapter of the book of Malachi to point to current times.
These “Malachi 4” cult leaders promote themselves by pointing scriptures of the Old Testament to their own ministries. While the first verse of the book of Malachi proclaims that the prophecy is “To Israel,” very few of these cult leaders are Jewish. The “book” of Malachi, remember, was taken from a scroll -- a single page rolled up without divisions for chapters or for verses.
If you study the ministries of these men, you will quickly find these men mischievously point scriptures towards themselves -- scriptures that were intended for Jesus Christ. But there is one interesting similarity between them:
They avoid sections of the Gospel according to Luke!
Luke is the only one of the three Gospels where the timeline starts BEFORE John the Baptist, and includes the prophecy of John the Baptist by Zechariah the priest. These cult leaders won’t avoid the book of Luke entirely -- that would be too obvious. But they skip over the portions of the book that confirm the prophecy written by Malachi.
I had one poor man try to argue that William Branham was the focal point for Malachi 4, and his claim was that Branham “turned the hearts of the fathers to the children.” The argument he made was that John the Baptist did NOT “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,” and therefore he could not have been the return of Elijah described in Malachi 4.
And I feel sorry for him. Like myself, he was programmed by the false teachings of William Branham. It was only by the grace of Jesus Christ that I was able to free myself from the clutches of this very damaging cult in order to plainly see that ALL scripture points to Jesus Christ. There is no scripture that points to a single man -- sinner, saint, or prophet -- as a mediator between man and Christ. Christ is our mediator between ourselves and the Father, just as the Bible says.
You see, William Branham followed in the footsteps of John Alexander Dowie. He associated with F. F. Bosworth, a strong supporter of Dowie, and Branham continued many doctrines brought forth by Dowie. In fact, the Divine Healing movement did not start with Branham as many falsely think. Dowie’s fame was because his “healing ministry” famous world-wide. Until he was proven to be a charlatan, Zion, Illinois was the commune to over a hundred-thousand people.
Branham (and Dowie) avoided large portions of the book of Luke. Luke did not fit their descriptions of the perfect cult follower -- Luke was very intelligent and a strong study of both the Gospels and the scripture.
That verse in Malachi 4 that these cult leaders point to themselves, the one who will come and “turn the hearts of the father to the children,” is actually found in the very first chapter of Luke. Speaking of John the Baptist (who Jesus said was the Elijah foretold to come), Luke says this:
And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.
Branham used the “healing in his wings” verse to point to himself -- he promoted himself as a “Divine Healer.” This part bothers me.
Once you have been programmed by the cult, this sounds to be humble and sincere. But this is devious and arrogant. It could even be considered to be blasphemy.
That verse in Malachi 4 actually points to Jesus Christ. By HIS stripes we are healed. With blinded eyes, the cult drones do not catch what Branham did here.
Malachi 4:2-3 says this:
But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.
Think about what Branham did here! He pointed the “healing in its wings” to himself! But this is the “Sun of Righteousness!” It does not say that “the prophet shall rise with healing in his prayer cards!”
This “Sun” (notice the spelling, S-U-N) points to none other than Jesus Christ. And again in Luke 1, we have Luke telling us the very same thing:
“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke says, “sunrise.” Malachi says the “sun (of righteousness shall) rise.” There are no two ways about it, no matter whether you are programmed by the cult or not, this “Sun” is describing Jesus Christ, not a prophet. And again, we have Luke pointing to Christ, and Branham pointing to himself by avoiding the words of Luke.
The other argument I have heard from a programmed cult member is that the “Great and Awesome Day of the Lord” is referring to the End of Days, the scripture that describes the “Unique Day” where the sun and moon refuse to shine.
That argument is taken from the beginning of the book of Malachi, the very first verse:
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.”
You see, these “Malachi 4” cult leaders will snip verses out of this chapter and preach entire sermons on the single verse. It causes spiritual blindness, because the programmed listener starts to think that maybe the scriptures DON’T point to Jesus Christ. “Maybe they are telling us of our wonderful leader!”
But you must read it in full, and in context. Right after that first verse, and after describing the “sun of righteousness,” Malachi describes his vision of the seventy-two sent out by Jesus like calves from the stall. They trampled over the arrogant pharisees, and completely destroyed the lineages of the “righteous seed versus serpent’s seed” that the scribes and the pharisees discussed and debated. In fact, those lineages were completely destroyed with the salvation of the Gentiles, leaving not a single root or branch!
If you want to give the praise and honor and glory to a false prophet, you can snip verses out of Malachi, and Matthew, and Mark. But if you want to give the praise and the honor and the glory to Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, all you need to do is to read Malachi’s prophecy of the coming messenger and coming messiah, and then read Luke 10 -- in full, in context.
If you are brainwashed with the false teachings of a “Malachi 4” prophet, listen to the words of this chapter. Tell me that they do not sound familiar -- and that you remember many of these verses pointing to your false prophet.
But listen to Luke writing all of this pointing to Jesus Christ -- not a cult leader.
Luke 10, the calves that went out of the stall to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Isn’t that beautiful! The harvest is PLENTIFUL! The laborers are FEW! Not some “little bride for that day,” like these cult leaders falsely teach, Jesus is telling them to go and save EVERYONE THEY CAN!
Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!‘ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house.
“Do not go from house to house.” How many cults do you see doing this?
Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.‘ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
Sound familiar? Malachi’s description of these seventy-two trampling down the wicked? His description of how they will be ashes under their feet?
He continues condemning and blasting those cities that did not receive Christ when the Kingdom of God came near to them on that day:
Woe to Unrepentant Cities “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more bearable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades. “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Did you ever stop and think about what William Branham was REALLY saying when he claimed to have a vision of California sinking and quoted this scripture? “Capernaum, Capernaum, city of angels, how you were exalted and now you will be cast into the sea?”
He was comparing himself to Jesus Christ. Because they did not believe in William Branham’s many failed prophecies, Branham tried to condemn the city -- and in doing so, created ANOTHER failed prophecy!
When the seventy-two returned, Satan’s power was stripped, and he was thrown down to earth. Yet ANOTHER twisted scripture that points to these false “Malachi 4 prophets!”
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
This next part gets a little awkward if you have been programmed with any of the multiple heretical views of the Godhead that Branham promoted at different times throughout his ministry. Modalism, Oneness, and Dualism do not fit with the next few verses:
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
If you’re in the cult, I can say: “Confusing, isn’t it?” Trinitarians, those who believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and also believe that these Three are One, have no problems here. But cult-programmed followers have to stop and think, “ok, who handed who revealed by who? And who did Jesus rejoice in?”
And you probably recognize that part about “hidden from the wise and prudent.” I’m willing to BET that you think that is describing Branham’s ministry, and that all of the apologetics CAN’T see through all the failed prophecies because it is “hidden from the wise and prudent!”
I will thank you for calling me wise, but let you in on a little secret: I’m no more wise than you are! I just chose to start reading my Bible!
Want to know what happened next? It happened the same way for me as it did for the seventy-two that went trampling over the wicked like calves from the stall. Luke writes this:
Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”
Again, I will ask. WHAT did they see? What did they hear?
The Words of Jesus Christ!