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There is a scripture that most in the religious cult of William Marrion Branham are familiar with, and that is found in the book of Revelation, chapter 10, verse 7.
But in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets.
They are familiar, because William Branham promoted himself as the subject matter this scripture was referring to. By association, he claimed that he was that seventh angel.
Continuing on into the next chapter of Revelation, Revelation 11, we find the writer speaking of the two witnesses that will come to prophesy. Later in his ministry, Branham claims that these are the “spirits of Moses and Elijah.”
Revelation 11 appears right there exactly in line with the Sixth Seal. 68 What to do? What was it to do? And this was to bring forth two witnesses, Moses and Elias, prophets. Which, the Jews only believe their prophets. And they'll come forth with the sign of the prophets, and their work will be that of the prophet, for they did exactly.
Most cult followers are convinced of William Branham’s promotion of himself as “Elijah the prophet.” Branham’s redirecting the scriptures written by Malachi from pointing to John the Baptist and Jesus Christ to himself and his ministry has swayed the faith of thousands.
Some are familiar with the teachings of the false prophet John Alexander Dowie, and William Branham’s reverence to the cult leader of the Zion movement in Illinois.
To the crowd at Zion and the “latter rain,” Branham lies about his birthdate to promote himself as Elijah to the Zionists:
How Doctor Dowie in his death prophesied that I would come to that city forty years from the time that he died. Not knowing nothing about it, he died on one day, and I was borned on the next. And forty years to the day I entered the city, not knowing nothing about it. Oh, how God's great move is coming together; I hear the sound of abundance of rain.
To those in Zion, he claimed to have been born the day after Dowie's death in 1907. John Alexander Dowie died March 9, 1907, so Branham claimed to have been born March 10, 1907. Branham wanted to become the “Elisha” to Dowie’s “Elijah.”
This creates a problem when you consider the order of events in Revelation, how the “Seventh Angel” sounds first, and then the two witnesses prophesy in sackcloth. If Branham was the “Elisha” to Dowie, who also promoted himself as the “Elijah” of “Malachi 4,” then Branham was promoting himself as one of the two witnesses to the Zion crowd.
But it creates a much larger problem when you consider the other crowds in cultish religious followings. Branham not only tried to inject himself as the leader to Zion, but to other religious groups that had swayed from the leading of the Holy Spirit to the leading of false teachers.
In the late 1600’s and into the early 1700’s, a prophetess by the name of Jane Leade started publishing her prophecies of the last days. Her prophecies would influence one Charles S. Price, a name those in the cult of William Branham may be familiar with.
This prophecy was not only taught by Price, but was found among his posessions after he died. And it was not a coming “Elijah” that was described in the prophecy, but a coming “Moses.” (Moses, who Branham claimed to be one of the two witnesses of Revelation.)
"Thus Moses, Joshua, and Aaron may be considered types of some upon whom the same Spirit will come, yet in greater proportion. Whereby they shall make way for the ransomed of the Lord to return to Mt. Zion; but none shall stand under God but those who have become "tried" stones after the pattern and similitude of Christ. This will be fiery trial through which a very few will be able to pass or bear up in it. Whereby the waiters for this visible breaking forth are strictly charged to hold fast, and wait together in the unity of Pure Love. This trial will be of absolute necessity to all for the clearing away of all remaining infirmities of the natural mind, and the burning of all wood, hay, and stubble. For nothing must remain in the fire, for as a refiner shall He purify the sons of the Kingdom.
To the followers of Price, Branham did not promote himself as a “Malachi 4 Elijah.” Instead, he promoted himself as “Moses.”
I can remember those joyful days with you here in Oakland. And I believe the brethren that sponsored the meeting, one's setting right back over here. I believe that's right. Morse? Is that... Morse, Brother Morse. How are you, Brother Morse? Won... I'm so happy for you, brother. I'll never forget the little days setting in your school there, that you and I and Brother Kidd and all of us talked on the Bible and the grace of God. And how that Dr. Price had prophesied of a great move coming. And Dr. Price moved off the earth one day. Wigglesworth moved off one night, Dr. Price the next morning. And the next day I was visit by the Angel of the Lord just to go out. And man foresaw it coming (You see?), and here it is now.
Sound familiar? This was the same tactic used with the Dowie crowd in Zion. Good ol’ Dr. Dowie died one day and I (Branham) was born on the next!
In Issue 8 of the “Only Believe” magazine, a testimony similar to this is given by Roy Roberson. Roberson writes:
Once Brother Branham asked me, " Brother Roberson, do you really know who Moses was?" When he put it like that, I had to answer, "no I don't know". He said, " He was God to those children of Israel, and he could speak into existence, Fleas and all kinds of things, like Squirrels". And when he said 'Squirrels' then I knew he was Moses. He was God to the people of this generation, the same as Moses was to the children of Israel.
By Brother Roy E. Roberson
Only Believe Magazine Issue 8 Volume 3 Number 2.
He was “God” to the Robersons. He was “greater than Jesus Christ” in a testimony by Fred Sothmann, recorded for you to watch on YouTUBE. But to the followers of Price, Branham was “Moses.”
Charles Price was a strong proponent to the faith healing ministry. He was the pastor of the “First Congregational Church of Lodi” in California, and had a wide-reaching ministry through healing campaigns. Dr. Price held meetings in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Minneapolis, Duluth, St Louis and Belleville, Illinois to spread his “health gospel,” and then started publishing the “Golden Grain” periodical with testimonies of healing.
His healing ministry started after a healing revival in San Jose, California by Aimee Simple McPherson. It was there Price claimed to have been filled with the spirit.
He was known as a freemason, and was funded by means unknown. After his attorney ran away with all his funds, Price suffered a huge blow to his campaigns. He could no longer hold meetings in huge auditoriums as he once did, and started setting up tents to hold “tent meetings.” You might say that he was the “father of the tent meetings,” because after Price, several of the evangelists -- even the ones with plenty of money -- held tent meetings instead of renting auditoriums.
But while most other ministers were shut down or greatly limited by the Great Depression, Price seemed to have plenty of money out of nowhere. In the late 1930s he ministered in Norway, England, Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Italy, as well as continuing to speak throughout the US. In 1939 Price estimated that he had traveled over a million miles on evangelistic campaigns since he began in 1922.
Also, Price was promoted in the Voice of Healing magazine that Branham established to promote his own ministry. And he would return to California, promoting himself while lifting up Aimee Simple McPherson and Dr. Price:
I can think, Lord, as the little boy, of reading of Aimee Semple McPherson. And the criticism that we's... would find in the papers sometime, that they said that she claimed to heal people. How we found out how falsely that was. And we read of, and have heard of the great ones, of Dr. Price, and of the F. F. Bosworth, and great saints who lived before this day.
Striking when you think of his ministry in other cities. Branham was strongly against women, especially women preachers. Heaven forbid that a woman prophesy in Branham’s followers of other cities -- they would be blasted for their trying to impose on the male population of those with the gift of prophecy.
But to the followers of Price, this was well received.
William Branham appealed to the followers of Price by promoting himself as “Moses,” and by inventing similar life-changing events to add to his fictional life stories.
Similar to Price, Branham starts claiming that his early rejection of the Pentecostal movement had great consequences -- just as Price claimed.
While Branham promoted himself as a faith healing in a 1945 pamphlet “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,” he decided to change his “commission story” to match the followers of Price.
In 1947, he compared himself to Moses. When the “angel” gave him his first commission to heal the sick, (or second commission if you have the 1945 pamphlet), He was given two signs as Moses was given two signs.
And this is strikingly odd if you consider the fact that Branham did not actually read his Bible to get the number of signs -- because in the book of Exodus it describes Moses as being given THREE signs, not TWO! Moses was given the three signs: turning the rod into a snake, changing the hand to leprosy, and turning the water into blood.
It was to the crowd in Oakland that he preached “Faith is the Substance,” the sermon where Branham tells the people to ‘shut up’ and listen to him speak about Moses:
Now, look, be quiet people. Moses, the very deliverer, God's gift to the people, they did not understand him. You see what I mean? They did not understand Moses. And Moses thought, surely, that they would understand that he was their gift to deliver them. But they did not understand. And now, friends, don't get me wrong. May I say this with reverence in my heart, knowing that I'm an Eternity-bound person that'll stand before judgment someday. Thousands of people are missing their gift. See? They can't understand it. And they'll look and say, "Oh, he's just a man." That's true. Was it God or Moses that delivered the people? It was God in Moses. See? They cried for the deliverer. And when God sent the deliverer to them, they failed to see it, because it was by a man. But it wasn't a man; it was God in the man.
He also called Moses “slow of speech” to match his own Kentucky grammar.
Along come Jesus. And Jesus... Listen. Jesus was God's gift to Israel, to the world. Is that right? Jesus was God's gift. "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." You believe it? [End of record--Ed.] And it wasn't the apostles. Do you think Moses was the--the deliverer because it was Moses, his wits and his intelligence? Why, he said he was a man of slow speech. It was God in Moses, a gift to the people. It was God in Christ. He said, "It's not Me; it's My Father that dwelleth in Me."
And did you ever notice how his angel “changed?” To the Zion crowd, the description of his angel was strikingly similar to the appearance of John Alexander Dowie. Long, flowing robe, long white beard, and long white hair.
To the Armenians in California, his angel matched the description of Avak the Armenian, who took the nation by storm with his angelic healing campaign. The angel changed to having a dark beard, dark hair, olive complexion.
It’s funny, because at one point in time the “angel” seems to have became Hindu. In Louisville, as he was promoting his trip to India, the angel was wearing a turban. Branham practically calls the “angel” a “towel head.”
And when I started through the room, there stood a man standing there. And he had a towel, looked like, over his head like this, hanging down. He's kind of a dark complected looking fellow. Looked like his nose was kindly pushed on the end or like it kindly stumped like that. He was standing there looking right at me. I thought he'd been a patient just come in. And I said, "How do you do, sir?" And I... He was a standing right in my road, so I said, "How do you do, sir?" And he said, looked up like that and said, "Brother Branham, don't go overseas till September." Now, I said, "What..." Well, I looked, and the man was gone. Now, if that ain't just like the Macedonian call, that went over to...?... It's the same Angel of the Lord. See?
This type of ministry, presenting yourself as the reincarnation of great men of the Bible, is nothing more than self-promotion. And while self-promotion lifts yourself temporarily, the Bible says that it also sets yourself up for a great fall.
Luke 18:14 says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
After Jesus rebuked Peter for being mindful of the things of men and not the things of God in Mark 8, Jesus condemns these “health and wealth gospels” like the Divine Healing movement that influenced William Branham.
Mark says this:
When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
I often wonder why William Branham calls his ministry “preaching the gospel,” yet you cannot find a single description in any recorded sermon from 1947 to 1965 describing WHAT the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. He refers to other false prophets and cult leaders, describing how they “preached the gospel,” but what they really preached was self-promotion. Branham taught by their example.
But what profit do they gain themselves by lifting themselves up as great leaders without teaching the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ? And how can you deny yourself while preaching self-promotion? Is this REALLY “taking up your cross” to follow Jesus? It sounds much more like building a pretty cross to let others follow yourself.
Those enslaved by the religious cults and false teachers that came out of Asuza Street preach other gospels that conflict with these words of Jesus Christ in Mark 8. What PROFIT is the healing of your body? He said “whoever desires to save his life will lose it,” and I sometimes wonder if that is the same thing as “selling your soul.”
I heard a lady enslaved by the cult of William Branham describe her stance. She was one healed of cancer. While she knew that many things Branham taught were incorrect, she could never leave -- she was afraid that her cancer would come back. She told me to listen to the “Holy Ghost Series,” instead of the older sermons by William Branham. The “good stuff” was in there.
The question I will leave you with today is this: Is this the same as Esau, selling his birthright? Is this what Jesus calls accepting something in exchange for your soul? Is this Divine Healing false gospel causing millions to sell their souls?
Which “gospel” do you believe? The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Good News that Christ came to fulfill the Old Covenant by living a perfect life, dying on the cross for our sins, conquering death, hell, and the grave, and raising up again so that we may rise with him?
Or do you believe in the gospel that you must sell your soul to follow?
“William J. Seymour: Pioneer of the Azusa Street Revival”