Site Search:

 

Job's Accuser

John Collins07/01/2013

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 divorce. 

 "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 NOTHING!  NOTHING!!!"

Can't you see the humor!  Thirty-two years of claiming to have read the Bible, and he didn't even know that! 

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 sinners—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 amazing. 

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.

65-1127E  I.HAVE.HEARD.BUT.NOW.I.SEE

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.  ...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 accusation:

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.

65-1127E  I.HAVE.HEARD.BUT.NOW.I.SEE

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 Spirit!

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.

65-1127E  I.HAVE.HEARD.BUT.NOW.I.SEE

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 Old Testament."

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 earth!

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 


Next Blog Post >