Video available here: http://youtu.be/NpjoYtkiQLM
I have many Christians who talk to me now, amazed at some of
the stories from my days behind the prison walls of a cult. I always get a chuckle out of them when I say
things like, "Until you have placed your faith in a prophecy about egg-shaped
cars, you have never known the Gospel of Jesus Christ!" (joking, of course.)
One of the funniest events in my list of crazy stories was
when the cult leader, William Marrion Branham, preached a sermon entitled
"Marriage and Divorce." There is enough
situational comedy surrounding that sermon that television could produce a
series on prime-time TV!
This sermon was preached in 1965, and according to Branham,
this was a full thirty-two years into his ministry since he learned about the truth
in Pentecostalism. (Although he lied
about that, which is another comedy routine for another day.)
The founding fathers of the cult say that this sermon was
"special," because William Branham brought the great "mystery" of marriage and
divorce. "How priviledged we are that
God sent a 'prophet' to show us this mystery, otherwise we might have traded
our wives around like cattle!"
It's a riot!
THIRTY-TWO YEARS of claiming to preach the Bible, and this is a great
mystery? It's right there in the Bible,
all you have to do is read the Book!
Jesus talks about it. Paul talks
about it. Moses wrote about it.
It's ironic, because even the prophet Malachi — who was
supposed to have announced this great cult leader — wrote about marriage and
"For the man who does not love his wife but
divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with
violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do
not be faithless." - Malachi 2:16
The climax of the comedy is when we find that this sermon
was a result of his own son, Billy Paul Branham, getting divorced and
re-married. "Let's pretend we know
NOTHING about what is in the Bible about this subject! Then, since we didn't know, Billy Paul is
under the blanket of ignorance!" I can
just hear Colonel Klink: "I KNOW
Can't you see the humor!
Thirty-two years of claiming to have read the Bible, and he didn't even
I can just hear the men of the church around the water
cooler the next day. "Boy, I sure wish
I'd left Ethel and married Barbara before Sunday. Now I'm STUCK with her!"
You see, that's what happens when you worship in a
legalistic cult. That's what happens
when you are falsely taught that a Christian does not sin — you have to bend
the rules a bit so that your leader and his family are not shown to be sinners.
We are ALL sinners! We
are ALL unworthy, but made worthy by the power of the cross!
I like how Paul says it best in 1 Timothy 1:
Here is a
trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world
to save sinnersâ€”of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of
sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for
those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible,
the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
One of my newfound freedoms in life is the Sunday school in
my church. It is absolutely
After the first visit, I told my wife, "I've never been to
Sunday school in my life! Sunday school
in the cult was all stories about how some of the old men were so blessed to
have spent time with 'a prophet.' How he
told them to go fishing and enjoy themselves, and how they couldn't cast the
reel without bringing in a fish! Or how
he just knew there'd be a set of antlers a certain size, how kind he was to
others. It was worship of a man, not
studying of the bible.
They ought to call it a memorial service for a dead guy, not
a school to learn the bible.
The church I attend has men who are enthusiastic for
learning more about God. And they
continually seek to learn more — not sit on a stump because some other man had
told them everything they needed to know about the Bible.
It's ironic, because William Branham told everyone in the
cult not to watch television or go to movies — this was SIN. Yet eighty-percent of the cult now will be
found in front of their televisions or in theaters, and discussing how good the
latest movie is. For YEARS, many in the
churches hid their televisions in the closets!
Yet, while they will sit in a theater watching a movie for
themselves, they want to take some other man's word about their Bibles. Have you ever thought about what it would be
like if the situation were reversed?
What if they actually LISTENED to their prophet, and stopped watching
this "evil thing," and took SOMEBODY ELSE'S word about it? What if instead of seeing Star Trek on the
big screen with all of its amazing special effects, they sat in circles in each
other's houses or in this memorial service that they called Sunday school, and
they told how the great captain Kirk led his crew to conquer the villain!
Do you think the movie would be as good, hearing it from
someone else? FOLKS, THE BIBLE IS THE SAME
WAY — EVEN BETTER!
The real eye opener has been for the past several weeks in
Sunday school. We have been studying the
Book of Job. Not just the summary — like
most cult pastors do, and which can be found in the first four chapters — we
are studying the entire book from chapter one to chapter forty-two.
Many pastors, even cult pastors, preach Job. How job was patient and enduring, and how he
had false accusers. But there is SO much
more to the story that is in the book!
Not to mention the fact that the cult was taught the ISLAMIC
VERSION of Job! Not even the Job that
was in the Christian Bible!
Islam is worship of a prophet, the prophet Mohammed. Prophets in Islam are lifted up into greater
esteem than other men, just as we find in the cult of William Branham. Therefore, ALL great men of the Bible must be
prophets! Branham was no different.
Here is the summary of Branham's teaching on Job, found in a
sermon that was dedicated to teaching his congregation about Job.
Job, let's take a little of his life. Job was a prophet. He was a man that lived back before the Bible
was written. It's been thought that Job was one of the oldest Books of the
Bible, because It was written before Genesis was written. Job, this great
warrior and prophet, was a--a mighty man in his day. No doubt that he had been
brought up and had served the Lord all of his life. And had lived such a
gallant life to the people, all had respects for him.
Starting in 1950, William Branham taught that Job was a
great prophet of old, the "messenger for the hour." He called Job a prophet over a hundred times
in recorded tape.
Just because Job declared that his God was real, and that
one day he would stand before God in Job 19, Branham twists this single
statement to trick the people into thinking that the book of Job was a book of
prophecy. â€¦it wasn't.
If you are a Muslim, and you follow the teaching of the
Quran, then yes, you believe Job was a prophet.
You might hear them say, "Just like our great leader, praise be to
Allah." Replace "Allah" with Branham,
and you will find what the people in the cult of William Branham might say.
But if you are a Christian, and you study your Bible, you
will know that Job was just a man, like you and I. He stood firmly on his belief that his
sacrifice made him pure and holy — just like other Christians stand firmly on
their belief that the sacrifice of Christ saves them from their sins.
In fact, most Christian scholars agree that while written by
a Jew, the man Job was not Jewish. In
the story, Job was from Edom — not exactly where you are likely to find a Jew,
he was far more likely a Gentile.
And for those of you who were in bondage in a legalistic
cult, the story will be very enlightening — because it actually is a book
representing the Grace we have through Christ's sacrifice. One of the accusers represents legalistic,
what Paul would call "worldly" religion.
Job had three accusers, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. One came with the voice of philosopher, one
as a historian, and one representing legalism.
Eliphaz spoke like the great philosophers of old. "If you sin, you will suffer." Bildad looked at Job's past rather than the
sacrifice. "You are suffering, therefore
you MUST have been sinning." It reminds
you of those little old ladies in the cult, shaking their fingers at you when
you go through a trial.
Zophar was the one who represented legalism. He came with straight, solid
accusations. "You ARE sinning! Get down to the alter and repent, sinner!"
I have been in several cult churches that beat their
congregations down like they are whipping them into submission. Constantly, service after service, they pound
the people into the ground rather than lift them up and give them
encouragement. The people are sheep all
right. Constantly sheared until they are
shearing the bruises from the last shearing!
This was how Zophar was to Job. Job sat there taking his pounding from
Zophar, but he wasn't looking to how he lived his life, the things that he had
done, or even what he had been thinking that might have been ungodly. Job knew that he was safe and secure because
of the sacrifice.
Many Christian pastors falsely teach that Job lived some
perfect life that only Christ could live, and that Job himself represented
Christ living the perfect life. But
nothing can be further from the truth.
No man is without sin, all have fell short. Again, Job was a man, like you and I.
In fact, the entire chapter nine of Job describes just how
full of sin that man is. Nothing we can
do of ourselves can make us spotless — only the sacrifice can make us clean.
To his accusers, Job says, "Truly
I know that it is so: But how can a man be in the right before God?" — Job 9:2
It is interesting, because after Job describing how all men
are born into sin, Zophar starts attacking.
Any time a man or woman confesses their sin, legalistic false teachers
find fuel for their fire.
Zophar was partly correct in his theology — but he was only
showing one side of the coin. Our sin is
filthy, punishable by death. We all
deserve to die, no man is worthy of even the breath we breathe.
Zophar responded to Job with this harsh and bitter
But the eyes of
the wicked will fail; all way of escape will be lost to them, and their hope is
to breathe their last." —Job 11:20
I've heard some cult pastors mimicking "the prophet,"
pretending to have this gift of "mind reading" that Branham falsely taught was
"scriptural discernment." The gift of
discerning right from wrong was changed into fortune telling, able to guess
names and addresses that were written on the backs of prayer cards.
These wolves behind the pulpit beat the congregations down
with their Charismatic-style screaming so that after breaking their legs, they
can carry each sheep to be sheared. They
want to become the hero of the story, the one who single-handedly turned the
people into righteousness — bypassing the Throne of Mercy.
If they only knew that most of their "sins" as they call
them are only changes in outward appearance or other unscriptural rules given
by a false teacher, they'd realize that they themselves need the Grace that
Christ is offering.
But in the cult of William Branham, men are lifted into
power. Even the book of Job is twisted,
which is a story that represents the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how Christ's
atonement for sin is sufficient.
Rather than leaning on the firm foundation of the sacrifice
as we find in the Bible, Branham claims that Job leaned on prophecy. Instead of the book of Job representing the
Gospel of Jesus Christ, Branham wanted to twist Job to represent HIMSELF!
Now, we see this great man. And, remember, Job had no Bible
to read in his day. No! He only went by inspiration. He was a prophet to whom the Word of the Lord comes to. He
had--he had only to be inspired, because he
knowed his position that he was God's prophet. Now, the only thing that
had to happen, was for the inspiration to strike him. And then he knowed what
he said would happen, because it was by inspiration.
Towards the end of the sermon of his "teaching" of Job, the
story twists to Job's "message of the hour."
And he calls the people out — if they have the Holy Spirit, then they
will SEE the message. In contrast, that
means that if they are not following the cult, then they must NOT have the Holy
No matter how religious you are, how many churches you belong
to, how many books your name's on, if that genuine Holy Ghost is in you (which
is this Word manifested), you'll see the Message and the hour, because it's the
Holy Ghost that does it. But there has to be something light that off,
inspiration strike you. And if there's... if you pour water on the ground, on
the ground, on the ground, and there's no seed in there to strike it, how can
it ever bring forth anything? There's nothing there to bring forth. That is,
that only the Elected of God will see It.
At this point, Branham as became Zophar. Unless you believe what I'm telling you — you
are going to be lost. Listen to me! Forget about that sacrifice back on the hill
at Calvary! That is in the past, this is
the present! You can claim the cross all
you want to — but unless you believe in the fictional stories I spoon-feed you,
you are going to HELL!
Another extra-bibical event you may have missed: Job's already been resurrected! Branham could peel back the curtain of time,
and guess which men were resurrected when Christ arose:
That quickening power come into the grave of Job, where there
wasn't even a spoonful of the dust of his bones left. After all those hundreds,
and hundreds, and hundreds of years, his bones had decayed. It--it went back,
and turned back to the gases of the earth, and just a mere ash dust laid there.
But, yet, when that quickening power, according to the Word of God, to the
promise, hundreds and hundreds, yes, thousands of years later, when that
quickening power was brought forth from the grave; Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
all of them, come out of the grave with Him.
The Bible said so. Saint Matthew, the 27th chapter and the
51st verse, it said, "Many of the saints that slept in the dust of the
earth, resurrected and come out of the graves with Him, when He come up on
Easter morning." Why? They had that potential. They had that quickening
power, see, and raised up from the dead, and went with Him in the resurrection.
Enjoyed the resurrection with Him, because they were full of that quickening
power. They had that genuine Easter seal.
"Well," you say, "I wish I lived back in the
Friends, don't be people who sit in groups like a bunch of
hippies letting one person tell you about what happened during the movie,
getting the details second-hand. GO TO
THE MOVIE! See it for yourselves — you're
already going to movies anyway! You are
already breaking one of the rules by legalistic Zophar the prophet!
And don't get your bible stories second-hand. Read them for yourselves. In fact, if you read the Bible, you'll
quickly find that it's far better than any movie that you sneak into theaters
to see! And you don't have to look over
your shoulders to see if any other people in your church notice you there! You won't have that awkward moment when you
run into another cult church member inside the theater!
It's a GOOD BOOK! It
has EXCELLENT stories, inspired and created by God! And you will find that ALL stories in the
Bible point to Christ — not some great Zophar that will one day rise and shake
his finger of accusation! All books
point to the sacrifice, not the reason the sacrifice was necessary!
Even during the Law of Moses, the Book describes how
unworthy we really are — unable to live for even a generation without falling
back into sin. Without the sacrifice, the
Hand of the Almighty would obliterate us all and wipe us from the face of the
Choose the Sacrifice for your salvation, not some man who
pretended to be a prophet. A prophet is
not going to save your soul from hell.
Only Christ can save, and He has already done it on the cross. All we have to do is to believe!
After being in the cult, there are two passages that I lean
on. Colossians 2:18 and Ephesians 2:8.
I'm not a big fan of taking single verses without reading
their context like William Branham did in each sermon, but I think you will
find that these two verses fit together like a glove.
Listen to how they sound together, but then I urge you to go
back and read the entire chapter for each of these passages. Let NO MAN give you any single verse as a
context for his message to you — go read the Book! For yourselves, not sitting around campfires
hearing how another man read the Book!
Here are the two passages:
Let no one
disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in
detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind
For by grace
are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God