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A Thing Called Love

John Collins06/23/2013

Video available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rBydqzTBNA

There is a song I grew up with that was written by Jerry Reed and later recorded by Johnny Cash to rise to a #1 hit in the early seventies.  It had a very powerful message, and even gospel quartets picked up the song to record the Christian message that the songwriter described. 

Until recently, I never knew this song started in secular music.  We were taught that all music not recorded by Christian bands was "evil," but I'm quickly starting to learn that a great deal of the music recorded by other bands has some really good Gospel messages in them.  ...not to mention the tunes, which I'm learning are the basis for some of the cult songs I grew up with. 

Creedence Clearwater Revival, for instance, sings a song called "Midnight Special," and that tune was ripped off by some cult church member to add words about the "message of the hour" and call it a new song.

But this song by Jerry Reed has a solid message, one that Jesus Christ would approve of.  It's called "A Thing Called Love.":

Six foot six he stood on the ground,

He weighed two hundred and thirty-five pounds,

But I saw that giant of a man brought down to his knees by love.

He was the kind of a man that would gamble on luck,

Look you in the eye and never back up,

But I saw him crying like a little whipped pup because of love.

You can't see it with your eyes,

Hold it in your hand.

But like the wind, it covers our land,

Strong enough to move the heart of any man,

This thing called love.

It can lift you up,

Never let you down,

Take your world and turn it all around,

Ever since time, nothing's ever been found,

That's stronger than love.

It is ironic, because while this story matches the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit and the change it will make in the life of even the must ruthless man, it is very similar to a story that William Branham used in self-promotion.

But in William Branham's story about the great "giant of a man" being changed by the Holy Spirit, the key element is missing:  Love.

In 1952, he says this:

 

Many times, I'd be standing on the platform, where there may be a hundred thousand people. And first thing you know, something real bold something just rise up in me, and I'll go right on, and call that demon, and cast it out. And I thought, "That's strange." And then here I begin to think... Many of you has read my little book, no doubt all in here, and of many instants there...

 

I seen one night at Portland, where a demon... Oh, my. A man weighing three hundred pounds about, run to the platform, and he said, "Well, you hypocrite." Said, "I'll show you how much man I got." He was an insane man out of the institution. And he run up to the platform and--and was going to break my neck. And--and five hundred preachers just fell back from him. And he drew back his arm and said, "I'll break every bone in your body." I weighed a hundred and twenty-eight pounds, and him about three hundred, and great deep chest, and, oh, what a--a powerful man he was, well able to carry out his threats. And in the... Right in the midst of it, why, there was just something moved upon me, and I just walked out to where he was. He said, "Tonight I'll break every bone in your frail-looking body."

 

I said, "In the... Because you have challenged God's Spirit, tonight you'll fall over my feet, in the Name of the Lord." There was the two prophecies made.

And he rushed forward to me, said, "I'll show you whose feet I'll fall over," just spit in my face when he come up, and he drew back his great big fist.

Just then I said, "Satan, come out of the man." And he threw up his arms, and screamed, and fell across my feet, till the police had to pull him off. Now, he didn't have any faith in me. He didn't believe me.

52-0224  BELIEVING.GOD

 

Notice the difference in the two stories?  Forget about God -- because this man didn't believe William Branham, Branham SMOTE HIM TO THE GROUND!

In the story that other Christians received — even from a singer that recorded music that the cult would call "worldly," love was there.  The song, "A Thing Called Love" is about a man who the world would think was beyond change — a powerful man who would look you in the eye and never back up.  But once he had a change of heart, this giant of a man became like a baby.

But Branham's story is not about love.  It is a story of self-promotion designed to make the listener think that there was a supernatural display of signs and wonders in those healing campaigns, which would in turn attract large crowds of curious minds.

And the man was unchanged.  The focal point of the story was not converting another soul to Christ — the focal point was how this man that seemed like a giant fell at Branham's feet.  Branham had the ultimate power!

In each retelling of the story, the man is never saved.  In fact, Branham makes sure the audience knows that there is some big dude laying over his feet that is unsaved with a demon.

Listen to how the story ends:

And when he did he went... He made a great big scream, threw up his hands, his eyes went way out like that, and fell around till the police had to pull him off of my feet where he pinned me to the floor. They said, "Is that man dead?" I said, "No." "Well," said, "is he healed?" I said, "No. It's just God showing His power to make that demon bow to Him." That was all. See? I said, "He's not dead." 51-0728 THREE.WITNESSES

Many times throughout his ministry, William Branham would tell and retell this story, showing great pride in his ability to conquer the giants as though he were David and carrying some sling.  Like the story in the Bible about David, Branham's story was about war and power over the forces of evil — without the Grace and Mercy given under the New Covenant. 

The man, though falling at Branham's feet was unconverted.

As time progressed, and the story was spread throughout the different cities in the campaigns, William Branham finally added the aspect of love — but still nothing like the song that I enjoy.  Branham retells the story, still with the original power over the forces of evil, but then adds how HE loved the man — not how the man FOUND LOVE.

Now, that's when we come to these crisis that when sovereign grace steps in. Then something happened in--in my life that I wish it would--if it ever comes again, that It'll never leave. And I only wish that there was some way that I had the power this morning to project that to this group of men and women here, and it never leave you. Like when the maniac at--up at Oregon, when he ran to the platform to kill me, many of you read that book. Something happened there. You've often wondered, I guess, how those things happened. It's something in the stead of despising that man though he was there to take my life, a Divine law set in for him. And he called me a hypocrite and a snake in the grass, and thousands of people setting there, and spit in my face, drew back his fist, and said, "I'll break every bone in your body." People probably setting here was there. But instead of despising the man, something--grace came in, in a moment when I needed it. Grace sets in and projected a Divine love into my heart that I could project to him, and thought, "There stands a man, like a man--like I am." Said, "He--he likes to eat and drink and his family; but the devil has him bound." So the love of God constrained me, and the man humbled himself and fell across my feet. Grace stepped in when love was projected.

-56-0218B WHEN.LOVE.IS.PROJECTED

Again, Branham is the focal point.  Not Christ, not even love — though love is added to the story.  In other words, "I'm the all-powerful, and I can smite people to the ground!  ...but I sure love 'em when I smite 'em!"

It is ironic, because these two examples — the song about how love will change the heart of even the largest giant, and the story about how the all-powerful wizard on the platform loves even those who he smites to the ground — is described in Paul's letter to the Galatians in Galatians 5.

In the first part, Paul first describes the story given by William Branham:  sorcery.  He compares it with drunken orgies and idolatry.

The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But examine that description of the "acts of the flesh", or "worldliness" in Paul's description.  "Factions," is exactly the description of the cult itself — creating a "faction" of people that separate themselves from other Christians! 

The more obvious sins, such as sexual immorality, remain hidden in the message of William Branham.  But if you examine each of these words and many of the "hidden secrets" that are starting to be brought forth, you will start to identify with each of these in the cult — starting with the cult leader himself.

And the "signs and wonders" that are pointed to in this cult is not the fruits of the Spirit that Paul describe.  Having the power to smite down your opponent — without saving them — is NOT one of the fruits of the Spirit that Paul speaks about:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

Not to become conceited, as Paul asks us, is the key. 

The definition of conceited is: "having a high or exaggerated opinion of oneself or one's accomplishments."

Examine any one of the sermons William Branham preached in the years leading up to his death, and you will find a strange and unusual pattern.  It's almost a rhythm that you can hear like a beating drum in South Africa:  Cloud, Kings Sword, Halo.  Cloud, Kings Sword, Halo.  Cloud, Kings Sword, Halo.

These stories, like the story of the giant who fell at Branham's feet, do not point to Jesus Christ — they point to William Branham.  If they pointed to Christ, then the cult pastors would not be so upset today after finding out how many times Branham lied about himself and his visions. 

If Christ were the foundation, they could easily forget about William Branham, and continue preaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

...but they are preaching the "gospel of William Branham."

I never really thought about it until putting my thoughts into my favorite song and how different it was from Branham's wizard story, but my favorite chapter in the Bible is very similar to this song — and polar opposite from Branham's smiting of the giant.

Immediately after Paul tells the church about the signs that would follow their ministries, such as speaking in tongues, Paul reminds them that there is ONE BODY of Christians — all different members of the same body.  Not divisions, not promoting separation from other Christians as these cult leaders declare.  Unity.

But after all of this, Paul tells them what is most important: Love.

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends. "

 

Those in the cult who still hang onto the failed prophecies, listen to this part!  It's written for you!

 

"As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.  When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13

Since Seek Ye The Truth has started, I have had several attacks on my integrity and my site.  For several months, mischievous people tried to bring the website down, and even hacked my forum to change the words that many have posted over time.

Recently, one pastor decided that he would try to humiliate me by reminding me of past sins — discrediting Christ's work on the cross that placed our sins into the sea of forgetfulness. 

It took me some time to realize that because of the cult programming, they struggle to separate my exposing the false prophecy and failed visions from an attack on their integrity and character.  Once programmed by this and cults like it, the mind is programmed to believe that an attack on your doctrinal beliefs is an attack on you, personally — rather than exposure so that you turn away from these things to focus on Jesus Christ.

The retaliations are strongly increasing now that Seek Ye The Truth has reached over 3200 cities worldwide, and they can see the massive number of people reading our material on our social websites.  Scribd, for instance, has almost 35,000 documents read — while these cult preachers are begging their congregations not to read the exposure of Branham's lies and false teaching.  And it is just one of the avenues we use to show others the lies of a man to turn back to Christ.

But these retaliations do not align with Paul's letter to the Corinthians.  You cannot retaliate in anger against someone using perfect love — think of how that sounds!  "I'm going to insult you greatly because I love you!"

They do not align with the song I love, about the man whose heart was changed after learning the power of love.  Love changes a person from the inside, making them a new person.

But these attacks do align with Branham's unchristian story of how he smote another human being to the ground — unsaved.  That is the kind of Christians that these legalistic, controlling cults breed — Christians that want to smite others down.

Wouldn't you rather serve a God of love than a god of hate?  Wouldn't you rather believe in the Jesus of the Bible, that loved even this man who challenged William Branham (if he didn't also lie about that story)? 

If you were trying to convert another person from Buddhism to Christianity, do you think you would do it by telling them of how your sorcerer smote people to the ground?  Don't you think you would have much more effect if you told them how Branham showed the man Christ?

If I were a pastor in the Branham cult, and I knew that most of William Branham's stories were completely fabricated anyway — and I also did not care that I was promoting lies from behind the pulpit — I'd change this story a bit.

I would change it to match Paul's letters and the song, "A Thing Called Love."  I would tell the people how Branham told the giant of Jesus Christ.  How as Branham told the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ to this man, and he DID fall to the ground.  But he fell on his knees, and William Branham was right there beside him — on his knees.  Branham was not so prideful that he stood over the man like a sorcerer, I would tell my congregations that Branham was so unselfish that he didn't mind dirtying his trousers to lead this poor giant to Christ!  ... if, of course, I could tell these fabricated stories from behind the pulpit knowing that God was my judge.

I certainly would never play any of these tapes with the story as it is.  I would be afraid that some poor soul would be turned away from Christianity!  Why would I want to serve a God that did not love people?  Why follow a leader that smote people to the ground? 

If I were a pastor in the cult churches, I would rather tell others about Jesus Christ.  How God sent His only Son to the world, because He loved us SO MUCH!  How God knew that we were all sinners, destined to die.  How that without Christ, we would all be smote to the ground by the fury and wrath that we deserved!

I'd tell them how Christ suffered and died on the cross for us, and how he conquered death, hell, and the grave, so that we will never taste its fury.  I would tell them how He rose again, so that we will now rise with Him to meet Him in His Kingdom!

And I'd tell them how that kingdom was filled with sinners, just like me.  Sinners who deserved the death that Christ saved us from.  Giants who had a change of heart by perfect love, and little guys who surrendered their lives to the Lord. 

I would describe the Heaven of the Bible, where all Christians that believe in Jesus Christ are saved by grace through faith.  Not the heaven of the cult where only the other Christians who were "kind to the bride" are welcome!  All who believe in Christ are welcome!

I wish we had more pastors not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Maybe out of the masses that are quickly starting to exit the cult, new pastors will stand up and tell others about Jesus, since their old pastors have seemingly forgotten.

This is my hope and my prayer.


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