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Avoiding The Book of Esther

John Collins07/15/2013

Video available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZGFkUwnGy4

The Book of Esther is one that is largely avoided during the eighteen years of recorded ministry by William Marrion Branham.  In fact, he only spoke of Esther fourteen times on recorded tape, and almost all of those times were during one single sermon: "The Marriage of the Lamb."

Reflecting on the common viewpoint in the cult, that William Branham was an "authority" on scripture, this one single book in the Bible astounds me.  Not only was this book avoided, but the entire theology and doctrinal teaching that came from the one single sermon preached about Esther is exactly … backwards!

You see, we were taught to believe many things about Esther that were either extra-biblical or that strongly disagreed with the scripture.  Since this was the one book that strongly opposed Branham's extra-biblical teaching that makeup or cosmetics were designed by Satan, the "god of this evil age," it is no wonder that the entire book was largely avoided by William Branham and is almost completely avoided by ministers that still remain in the cult.

There are several things that should have stood out as false by the men and women who had actually read the Book.  Some of them are so obvious that I am actually surprised there were not school children that stood up in the sermon and said, "Hey, Mr. Branham!  That's not what MY Bible says!"

We were taught that Esther was a "judge" in the Old Testament, simply because there was a book written about her life story.  And this is very interesting, because in his use of this extra-biblical teaching, Branham takes the opposing stance to most of his other sermons — actually AGREEING with women in authority!

If those still enslaved by the cult of William Branham today were to only read this single statement by William Branham, it would likely change the course of several sermons and sway many political votes!

And this man and wife, I was eating breakfast with them; they said, "Brother Branham, look at this. Would you think it?" and pulled out a letter.

I said, "Well, sister, she just don't understand."  The boys told me their mother was a woman preacher, and that she didn't go for the Message.

And now she says in here, she said, "Now he said, 'Women should not have authority over man.'" Said, "How about Phebe in the Bible, Paul's helper?"  Certainly, she was a seller of goods. And Paul asked the people... Do you think Paul would say, "Let the women keep silent in the churches, not permitted them to speak," and turn around and say, "Now, Phebe, my helper in the Gospel, she is going to preach a few nights"? Why, he would contradict his own word. See?

And said, then, to top it all, "I believe it was Esther... was one of the judges in the Bible." Said, "A woman was a judge in the Bible. If that's not authority over man!"

And this businessman that was healed right here in the church not long ago, he said... Now, his wife said, "Brother Branham, that always puzzled me."

I said, "Why, sister, how would that puzzle you?"

Said, "Well, here is a woman judge."  I said, "That's politics, not the church. That don't have nothing to do with the church."

65-0815  AND.KNOWETH.IT.NOT

But the sad truth is that this statement, while partially correct, uses extra-biblical theology to support women in politics.  A judge in the Old Testament was a military leader or ruler who decided the fate of the nations and governed law with justice in their decisions. 

Esther was not in this position, according to Scripture.  Ahasuerus was king, and Esther, although favored, was still simply one of his wives.  She had influence over his decisions, but through the entire book of Esther, Ahasuerus was the decision maker.  And Mordecai was second in command — not Esther!

"For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people."  -Esther 10

But the real underlying problem for Branham — most likely the one that caused him to avoid this very good book in the Bible — is that she gained the king's favor by using cosmetics in a beauty contest!

And even if she DIDN'T use cosmetics, Esther herself would be a real eye opener to another one of Branham's false teachings.  Branham infected the following with another false teaching that it was Satan who designed women — not God.  And according to Branham, Satan made them beautiful so that women would be the thorn in man's side!

He couldn't use that twisted theology in this sermon about Esther.  It would have made for one confusing sermon! 

Imagine if he told the people how beautiful Esther was, and then injected this false statement into the sermon, one that he taught all throughout the latter part of his ministry:

Beauty is of the devil, always. That's exactly right.

64-0401  THE.IDENTIFIED.CHRIST.OF.ALL.AGES

In the second chapter of Esther, the Bible describes her as a "woman with a beautiful figure," and "lovely to look upon."  Esther was a stunning beauty, and she was not "designed by Satan."  In fact, God used her beauty to work his Divine will!

But we were taught that Esther refused her cosmetics and perfumes to enter the beauty contest as a homely looking woman wearing only the most modest of apparel.  This, according to Branham, was to be a "type" of the church:

The church is a whole lot like it was in the days of Esther. Esther didn't take the perfuming of--of the women. She adorned herself with the modest apparel, the hidden man of the heart. And the king said, "Put the crown on her head." Esther was a type of the church today, those who are ready to come out and adorn themselves with the sweetness of the Holy Spirit, not the perfuming and the dressing of the world, try to compare with them but that hidden man of the heart, that's the one.

62-0127  MEANEST.MAN.I.KNOW

You see, Branham taught that these other women in the beauty contest represented the women who did not follow his cult.  Those women wore COSMETICS!  They certainly must be evil!  He taught that Esther refused these cosmetics and perfumes!

But the Bible tells quite a different story, right there in the beginning of the book!

So when the king's order and his edict were proclaimed, and when many young women were gathered in Susa the citadel in custody of Hegai, Esther also was taken into the king's palace and put in custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women.  And the young woman pleased him and won his favor. And he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and her portion of food, and with seven chosen young women from the king's palace, and advanced her and her young women to the best place in the harem.

Esther 2.

This is exciting!  Esther won the first round of the beauty contest!  She advanced to the second round, and won the favor of Hegai!

So as we see, Hegai provided her with cosmetics.  The Hebrew word translated here is "tam·ru·qe·ha," which literally translated means "cosmetics."  The King James version calls it "things for her purification," which according to custom would have included many different oils and spices, some of which would have included the royal colors.

In the Days of Esther, most of the royalty in the ancient world adorned themselves with "Tyre purple."  King David was close friends with the prince of Tyre, and established trade with the port city of Tyre.  It is believed that even the pillars of King Solomon's temple were fashioned after the pillars in the city of Tyre.

Tyre had unique plants that produced purple dye.  This purple had made its way into the citadel of Susa, and is mentioned in Esther 1:6:

There were white cotton curtains and violet hangings fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rods and marble pillars, and also couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and precious stones.

 

The blues and the purples that came from Tyre were scarce, and highly expensive.  Most of the ancient world, with the exception of royalty, did not have access to this color like we do today.  There were no purple crayons or cans of purple spray-paint!

But we were falsely taught that Esther did NOT use these things to increase her beauty.  We were taught that she strictly refused them — and refused them ONLY because they did not align with Branham's extra-biblical teaching.

There were no Laws in the Old Covenant forbidding the Children of Israel from avoiding oils, spices, perfumes, and paints.  There were no Laws that said to avoid the "beautiful women" because they were designed by Satan — otherwise we would have been left with one ugly race of Jewish people!  You wouldn't find a "Miss Israel" entry in the beauty pageant — they'd be more likely to have a "Miss Homely" contest to see which woman is more "holy."

But listen to the stark contrast between Esther, having advanced to stage two of the beauty contest, given cosmetics to make herself more beautiful:

Branham says this:

Now, we find ourselves then, that Esther, after she... They put her in one of these places, to get herself all fixed up, to make her show before the king. My! She refused it. She didn't want it. She wanted to go out just like she was. Amen.

62-0121E  THE.MARRIAGE.OF.THE.LAMB

Now that round two is over, Esther having made the cut of the seven most beautiful women in the land, let's see what the scriptures say about the time when she would present herself before the king.

Did she suddenly throw out all those cosmetics that helped her advance to this level?  Did she fall to her knees and pray that God would blind the eyes of the king so that he would not notice that she refused the customary paints, oils, and spices?  Did she have some vision that told her that the king's secret desire was homely women?

Now when the turn came for each young woman to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil of myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women—when the young woman went in to the king in this way, she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the harem to the king's palace.  —Esther 2

So according to scripture, we find that Esther spent an entire YEAR applying cosmetics.  The oils prepared her skin by removing wrinkles, much like our wrinkle creams today.  The spices made her smell wonderful, soaked so deeply in her skin that she radiated an aroma pleasing to the king. 

But listen to that one cosmetic used: "oil of myrrh."

Myrrh is extracted from a very small and thorny tree called Commiphora Myrrh.  When the tree is wounded, it excretes the oil, a resin that is harvested to produce "Myrrh gum."  As it is excreted, it forms a waxy, yellowish paste.  But as it ages, it produces a darker paste, much like the "face paint" Branham condemned all throughout his ministry.

This tree and its cosmetic-producing gum was and is native to Ethiopia, one of the kingdoms under the rule of King Ahasuerus.  Not only was it readily available to those in the royalty of his kingdom, it would have been an even cheaper cosmetic than the imported Tyre purple.

So now, it's the final stage of the beauty contest.  The seven women are prepared, twelve months of a beauty spa for the elite.

 They now would go before the king, lined up like the runway of our Miss America contest here in the States.

It's Esther's turn.  Last chance!  Can she quickly rub off that paint that has now bleached her skin to a dark yellow hue?  Will she roll in skunk spray to remove those spices, or roll in the mud so that she makes herself more homely before the king?

Let's see what the Bible says:

When the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abihail the uncle of Mordecai, who had taken her as his own daughter, to go in to the king, she asked for nothing except what Hegai the king's eunuch, who had charge of the women, advised.   —Esther 2

Now THIS is incredibly smart.  Esther was not from the city, remember?  She was a captive, taken from Jerusalem, and was not familiar with the king's customs, his likes, or his dislikes.  So she asks Hegai to choose exactly how she should adorn herself.  Hegai, the man who was in charge of making the women … beautiful!

And it WORKED!  Not just with the King, but also with EVERYONE who saw her!

Now Esther was winning favor in the eyes of all who saw her.  And when Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus, into his royal palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign, the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins, so that he set the royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king gave a great feast for all his officials and servants; it was Esther's feast. He also granted a remission of taxes to the provinces and gave gifts with royal generosity.

The book of Esther is a very good one, and we have only made it into the second chapter.  Coincidentally, from 1947 to 1965 on recorded tape, William Branham only made it to the second chapter — and he couldn't even say what the Bible said in just two of the ten chapters!

All things are created by God and for God.  God does not want to create an ugly place — an Satan CANNOT create.  God made everything to be beautiful, from the mountains and the streams to the forest and the oceans.  AND WOMEN!

Women are not secret agents in the secret service of Satan, as we were taught to believe.  If a man has a problem with women, then he likely has a problem that needs counseling.

I speak from experience when I say that the cult's teaching on women is very damaging to the men.  When I was in the cult, many men struggled with the natural desires towards women — simply because they were taught NOT to distinguish between natural affection and sin.  In the eyes of a cult, if a man has any testosterone, he has been infected.

I wish I had grown up with Scriptural teaching, with no extra details or completely opposite doctrines.  I wish Branham was not afraid to teach the REAL story of Esther, the one that is written in the Bible.  I wish that the thousands of children in the cult were not being programmed to believe that their natural desires were "of the devil," and that their bodies were trying to attack them, spiritually.

I wish my parents had followed a man who was not afraid to teach the Bible as-is.  A man who did not delight in "special insight" that did not match the words of the Bible. 

Thankfully, my children will not be influenced by false teaching.  The family line of idolatry ends with my family, and we will not stand to listen to cowardly men who are afraid to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its simplicity.

We will not stand for men who add to the Word of God and men who call these new additions the "Voice of God." 

Let the Word of God stand and every man be a liar!