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Extra-Biblical Details

John Collins07/08/2013

Video available here:  http://youtu.be/fqxwUy0t_aI

I recently watched a series on the History Channel called "The Bible."  It was a phenomenal set of videos, walking you through the history of the Bible as it told a story.

I was very shocked in a few places.  Having grown up in the cult of William Branham, and having been taught so many extra-biblical stories, it was a real eye opener as to just how different the Bible is from the inventions of a man. 

Though few will admit it, there are several common themes that were present in the underlying agenda of William Branham's ministry.  Stories were changed to elevate the status of the prophets rather than the God that spoke through them.  Some men, though not once in the scriptures ever speaking the Voice of the Lord as a prophet, were raised up into "prophet status" in the extra-biblical teachings.  Women were lessor in status, almost inconsequential to the Bible stories.  The hidden agenda goes on and on.

I often found myself opening my Bible to see for myself as I watched the series.  There were many things in the story that I never knew — and I thought that "Hollywood" had taken liberty with the video.  But after comparing it to the Bible, I found in almost every case that no liberties were taken — I had just never been taught the things that other Christians knew and took for granted.

There were times I would say to myself, "Why didn't they tell this part, or that?"  It seemed to me that there were portions missing from the video that were critical in getting the Bible story out to the people.  But in many instances, I found that the extra parts of the story simply were not found in scripture. 

As a former cult follower, it was almost offensive the way that the women were presented in the story.  Women avoided their household chores to follow Jesus, learning how to teach others.  We were so engrained with the false idea that women should not teach, and how the men are to be higher ranking because of the constant belittling of Branham saying, "Women are the BIPRODUCT!"

But as I read through the scriptures while watching the video, I quickly realized that women played a very strong of a role in the story of the Bible.  The women DID leave their chores to follow Jesus and learn as he taught — which was not only against the cult theology, but also against the Jewish culture for the time that Jesus walked the earth.  In fact, it would have been revolutionary to have sent both men and women into the cities to spread the Gospel — most of the Pharisees would have openly condemned these "biproducts."

The story that really caught my eye regarding the discrimination and condemnation of women in the cult was the story of Abraham and Sarah. 

In the cult, Sarah was practically ridiculed.  But in the video from the History Channel, she was the mother of the royal seed of Abraham.  Abraham loved her, and she was his partner — not his slave.  She was devastated when she could not bear a son for Abraham.

In the story given by the cult, God came down in human flesh to speak to Abraham — which was very similar to the video.  But in the cult, when the Lord and the angels were speaking to Abraham, Sarah was frowned upon like she was some slave told to wait in the tent alone.  In fact, because she laughed within herself, she was almost condemned to DIE according to Branham!

The Messenger, and He said, "Abraham, where is your wife (S-a-r-a-h) Sarah?" How'd He know it? How did He know it?  Abraham said, "She's in the tent behind You."  He said, "I'm going to visit you according to the time that I promised you. I'm going to visit you." And Sarah kind of laughed to herself.

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Notice this next part.  Branham makes a clear point to position the Lord in-between Sarah and the tent.  This, friends, is what we call "extra-biblical." 

In the video of the Bible, the men approached Abraham, as men NORMALLY would do.  They did not inject themselves between Abraham and his wife, Sarah.  Why does Branham go to such extremes to make sure the back was turned to Sarah?  She didn't even have a prayer card for the Lord to guess her name!  And the address was pretty clear — she was in that tent, right behind Abraham!

With His back to the tent, and He said, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'How can these things be?'" If she hadn't been in Abraham, his bride at that time, God would have slayed her. So would we today with all of our unbelief, if we wasn't in Christ. That holds us right there, see. He couldn't hurt or couldn't take Sarah without hurting Abraham. See?

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Do you feel the oppression of women in this?  It is slithering out of his words, despising Sarah for laughing. 

And the loving God that was in the video, the God who loved Abraham in the Bible, was now a God of wrath!  Who cares about Sarah — but Abraham had POWER!  He was a PROPHET!  God spared her so that he did not offend His PROPHET!

And did you notice that Branham called Abraham a prophet all throughout his ministry, just like the Islamic religion?  In the Christian Bible, Abraham was the Father of Nations, and he was on earth BEFORE the prophets.

Abraham did see a vision, and God gave him the vision.  He had A prophecy, but Branham tried to increase the respect for the men called "prophets" because he promoted himself as one. 

Luke 16 makes a clear distinction between Abraham and the prophets that spoke with the Voice of God to turn the Children of Israel from their idolatry in the Old Testament.  And it comes directly from Abraham!

"But Abraham said, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'"  -Luke 16:29

Even the Jews made this distinction, and it's in the book of John:

The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.'  -John 8:52

But the story told by the History Channel — which seems to line up with scripture MORE than Branham's story of the slave woman Sarah who almost got herself smote dead — was that the loving God who loved Abraham ALSO loved Sarah! 

God knew that Sarah was old.  He knew that Sarah could not understand how she could bear a son being long past the days of childbirth.  God was not going to smite her to the ground for not understanding or for lack of faith!  God BUILT UP her faith!

You see, as with most cults, that is the common theme: condemnation if you have trouble believing.  And not believing in God, or Christ, but believing in the extra-biblical stories, or the failed prophecies, or the life stories that you absolutely know in your heart to be false. 

God wants you to believe in ONE thing:  that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, sent down to earth to save each one of us from our sin, and so He lived the perfect life, died on the cross for our salvation, and rose again so that we can rise with him. 

There were likely people who did not believe John the Baptist.  But John couldn't save them — JESUS could.  There were people who did not believe the words of Paul and Silas.  So they checked them out for themselves!  As they were teaching in the synagogue, these Jews examined the scriptures.  After finding the words to be true, they believed in Christ!  God didn't strike them to the ground for not believing Paul — who cares about the man!  It is the GOD that we are to serve!  Faith in Jesus Christ!

In fact, the Bible calls these people "noble" for examining the information for themselves!

The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue.  Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.  -Acts 17

But religious cults do not want you to question.  They feel very threatened if you do question, because the elders KNOW the problems with the teaching.  They KNOW that Sarah was not off in some corner while "THE MEN" were outside discussing HER FATE without her consent!  They KNOW that God does not treat women as unfairly as the cults do!

Listen to the REAL story of Abraham's wife Sarah inside the tent while Abraham is speaking to the Lord.  It is found in Genesis 18:

They said to him, "Where is Sarah your wife?" And he said, "She is in the tent."  The Lord said, "I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 

Now this is the part where a cult will practically STOP, and invent the rest of the story.  Clear separation of gender here — Sarah in the tent, the men outside.  Only you'll notice, she was at the door of the tent!  Not hidden in some corner!

In fact, the Bible goes further to EXPLAIN why Sarah laughed — before she even does it:

Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah.  So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?"

Tell me — if you were to go find some elderly woman with a stooped back and a walker, and tell her that you were going to make passionate love to her, don't you think she would find it the slightest bit humorous?  "Not with ME, sonny boy!  My false teeth might fall out!"

You see, in the eyes of man [and women], this is impossible.  Abraham and Sarah no doubt had some difficulty with this — it's hard to have faith when every sign tells you differently.

But unlike the cult — God does not let you run on blind faith.  He doesn't ask you to believe something without GIVING you the faith to believe!  He doesn't ask you to believe wild stories about things that are completely proven false in the PAST — he asks you to believe things that ARE going to happen in the future!  And he gives you everything you need to keep the faith!

Why do you think He was there talking to Abraham and Sarah?  The cult would have said, "Well, they didn't believe!  They lost the faith, so he slept with that mistress Hagar!  Let's ex-communicate him before that unbelief disease spreads!"

God doesn't work like this.  He was there to boost the faith.  He already had a son by Hagar, Ishmael — their faith was diminishing quickly.  God was there to lift it back up.

Here's the one line of the story that you will hear in the cult while "THE MEN" are outside talking:

The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' 

But remember, Sarah is in the DOORWAY to the tent.  She's standing behind Abraham.  God IS speaking to Abraham — but He is ALSO speaking to Sarah!

Notice the shift in conversation.  It quickly changes from the gender inequality of the cult doctrine.  It changes from a conversation between "THE MEN," into a conversation with "God's Children." 

Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son." But Sarah denied it, saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. He said, "No, but you did laugh."

Notice that last sentence:  "He [The Lord] said, 'No, but you did laugh'"

Who was He [The Lord] speaking to?  Are you going to believe the oppressive cult, that God was ONLY speaking to Abraham while Sarah was hiding in some corner of the tent? 

Or are you going to believe the Bible, straight out of Genesis 18, where Sarah was standing behind Abraham in the doorway as the Lord stood there conversing with them?

We do not serve a God who is not understanding.  We serve a God full of compassion.  We serve a God who knows that we face trials, a God who knows that we will have doubts, a God who knows that we will sin from day to day.  We serve a God who loves us, who provides for us, and who gives us just what we need so that we keep the faith. 

We do not serve a God who "turns us over to Satan" for questioning — like the Branham cult has done in so many churches around the world.  Questions mean that you are paying attention.  Questions mean that you are concerned for your salvation, that you want to make sure that you are walking according to His perfect will. 

Questions are what brings answers.  But only if there are answers to be given. 

In Abraham and Sarah's case, the answer WAS given.  Sarah DID bring forth another child, even though both she and Abraham were filled with doubt.  God came to boost their faith, to tell them of the coming son, and give them the answer that proved God is real. 

So many are fleeing the cult, our website traffic is increasing daily with questions, comments, and new faces who are seeking answers. 

Jesus is the ONLY answer.  There is no answer that can be given for a failed prophecy — that prophecy is already in the past.  Jesus is in the future, and He is coming to take us with Him.  Look forward to the Answer, not backward to the question that has no answer!



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