Video available here: http://youtu.be/loDALAu0OOY
I was recently shown a video of a youth meeting for the
children of the cult of William Branham.
The point of interest was one of the cult pastors choosing two children
from the audience, making them prance around the stage behind him, each
pretending to be a word. One child was
“signs,” and the other child was “wonders,” and the pastor himself pretended to
His message to the children was “signs and wonders” follow
them that believe.
This struck me as odd, because Jesus Himself said that an
“evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign,” but the cult pastor had
added the word “wonders” to the equation, loosely quoting Mark 16.
Mark 16 does mention “signs” that follow the believers, but
does not mention “wonders.”
And these signs
will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they
will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if
they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands
on the sick, and they will recover.” --
This reminded me of one of my favorite sermons by William
Branham, the cult leader. Looking back,
I realize that my heart was not in the right place as I eagerly listened to
this sermon as a child, but the heart of a child is captured by all things
In the very first sermon on recorded tape, “Faith Is The
Substance,” William Branham tells a story of how he used his “faith” to move a
bracelet hanging from a string. And I’m
sure that all of the children in the congregation of this sermon were just as
captured by the magic as I was – and probably even some little old ladies who
had never seen the trick performed.
I do wonder about the children, though, especially the ones
who grew up and discovered how the “magician” softly blows through a slightly
open side of his mouth, and performs great “signs and wonders” for other
children who are not looking for Christ.
Why would they need God if an atheist in college can perform the same trick? The atheist will even tell you how he did it!
And don’t get me wrong.
There is nothing wrong with faith, and I do believe that faith can move
mountains – so long as there is a need strong enough to move it. I do not believe we are called to go around
staring at mountains, trying to “faith it to the other side,” like the power of
the “Force” in Star Wars.
You see, that is when your “faith” turns into
“sorcery.” When we try to do “signs and
wonders” without intervention from the God of Heaven, we are trying to be
sorcerers like the evil “Saruman” of “Lord of the Rings.” We are trying to become the bad guys, not the
Even though Hollywood is so far distanced from God, we find
that many of our movies give us the same message. They are written from books, which also give
the same message, some of which come from authors who actually read their
Bibles. Sorcery is demonic, and was
condemned under Mosaic Law. Those who
went around holding strings with bracelets on them to trick the children of
Israel into believing they had great power were stoned to death.
But in the day we are living, we have not witnessed the
great “signs and wonders” that God did as he was creating the Church. We did not witness the Red Sea parting. We did not witness the walls crumbling down
from simply marching around them seven times.
We did not witness Jesus walking on the water, or turning water into
More to the point, we did not witness what the Pagan
Gentiles witnessed as the early church was spreading Christianity.
When God comes on the scene to show the nations serving
other gods that He is the Supreme God, and according to scripture, He does
great signs and wonders before the people.
He will take a people that are familiar with the sorcery and the magic
of the Pagan temples, show the people that He is far more powerful, and
convince them to leave their idolatry to serve the One True God.
All throughout the Bible, we have examples of this. When God turns a people from serving idols,
there are signs and wonders. The people
need to be convinced in order to break the bonds that mentally hold them to
But notice also: after the people have turned to the One
True God, then God no longer needs to show them his power and might. After He fills their hearts with His Love, it
is that Perfect Love that holds them and draws them closer to God – not the
signs and wonders.
But the Divine Healing movement that started with John
Alexander Dowie of Zion City and later re-started with William Branham seemed
to take the opposing standpoint. In
fact, when you show a follower of the cult of William Branham any of the failed
prophecies, they will look you right in the eye and say, “He is a vindicated
prophet. He could heal!”
This movement, by nature, is what Paul would call
“worldly.” Not “worldly” by the same
definition used by the Pentecostals to describe things that did not agree with
their rules or theology, but the Greek word “kosmikas” that describe things
pertaining to this world instead heavenly things.
To Titus in chapter 2, Paul writes:
in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show
integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an
opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. Bondservants are to be submissive to their
own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not
pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the
doctrine of God our Savior. For the
grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to
renounce ungodliness and worldly(kosmikas)
passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present
age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God
and Savior Jesus Christ – Titus 2:7-13
When the Apostles and missionaries were spreading the Gospel
of Jesus Christ to the temples filled with magic, God knew that their minds
were focused on the things of this earth – not heavenly things. So to help pull them out of idolatry, God
also gave them earthly signs and wonders to witness.
Healing was a sign.
It was used by God to help bring others to Christ, and there are
examples of it in scripture. But healing
focuses on this earthly body – not the heavenly body or the soul. Healing is a blessing from God, a blessing
that God still uses today for His Glory, but our focus cannot be on the earthly
body – it must be on our soul. And not
only our soul, but the others around us!
Paul even gives us this example in scripture. Though Paul administered healing (from God) to
the many, we find that he did not go around showing “signs and wonders” to the
saved unless it was for God’s own purpose.
He did not “heal” Trophimus:
in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick (2 Timothy 4:20).
When Timothy fell sick, Paul did not send brothers to lay
hands on him and administer healing from the Lord. Paul knew that there was a medicine Timothy
could take to get better – a medicine that is strictly condemned by the cult of
No longer drink
only water, but use a little wine for your stomachs sake and your frequent
infirmities (1 Timothy 5:23).
But the Divine Healing movement that was kick-started by
William Branham and has produced the likes of Benny Hinn and others do not take
the same approach. EVERYONE can be
healed! All you need to do is have
faith! Keep the faith, or you will “lose
These ministers do not point to God for healing. If they did, then they would not have a single
“follower,” because the people would know they could go directly to the
Source. Instead, we have the followers
of Benny Hinn, the followers of Oral Roberts, and the followers of William
Branham. As missionaries are sent, they
are converted to “The Message” or some other agenda – not conversions to
That is because the fundamental element to the healing is
the man behind the podium. Without him,
all of these hundreds of people would surely die from their sickness! “That medicine the doctor gave them has
NOTHING to do with the healing! It’s
ME! The man on the platform! Pay no attention to the Man behind the
Before Branhamism turned into a cult following, William
Branham tried to become Sauron. He
wanted the people to believe in HIM for their healing. Even the second “commission story” he
invented gave that exact idea: “If you can get the
people to believe in you [William Branham], nothing will stand in your way, not
Branham even promoted himself as the one with the power –
again, bypassing God. It is almost as if
he is standing on the platform between the followers and their Bibles with his
arms stretched wide in a long white robe and crooked stick screaming, “YOU
SHALL NOT PASS!”
After giving the example of the magician’s trick with the
string, Branham tells the people this:
I'll take any cross-eyed child you've got in this meeting,
you bring it up here without even praying for it, and just let me look at it
straight in the eyes like that, I'll make its eyes come straight. --
If people only knew how damaging this is, this “worldly”
focus on Divine Healing, they would abandon it and get back to their
Bibles. God does heal, and God does use
us to lead other souls to Him.
But what about the poor soul who is held captive by this
magician, who lives their entire lives condemned because they “must not be good
enough” for God to heal? What about the
brother in Arizona who lived his entire live looking forward to the day when he
would “say the right thing” and stand up out of his wheelchair to walk? What about the mother lying in the bed dying
whose children are all by her bedside being told that she will live and not
die. Do we really think that these
children will not be strongly shaken in their faith when they watch their
Worse, what about the poor soul who refuses medicine so that
they can have a greater testimony of their faith? The one who goes through the prayer line,
suffering, when a simple injection could save their lives? What impact does that have on the ENTIRE
church when they die from their denial of the cure? Is this the type of ministry that God wants?
God is not calling a group of wizards. We will not be reigning in a fantasy land
with an all-seeing-eye connected to a crystal ball. We will not be walking around the edges of
the world showing other wizards how we can move strings farther than they
God is calling a Church.
He is calling a people that will serve Him, even if their one single
calling in live is pain and suffering.
He is calling a person that will stand by His side, even if it means
they must die of cancer to save another soul.
God cares enough about that one soul, that in His
sovereignty, He is willing to do anything to save it.
And it’s not that he doesn’t care about the person sick and
dying, as this Divine Healing movement will teach you. He does care.
But he cares for the soul, the heavenly portion – not the worldly
thing. This body, this flesh, will one
day cease to breathe. But when this body
puts on immortality, the soul will live forever.
Don’t you want to do everything you can to bring another
soul with you? Don’t you want to endure
your trials with peace and joy, as He did for us?
Jesus said, “Take up thy cross and follow me.” Too many times, I think people have been
misled into thinking, “take up thy string on thine bracelet and make it
move.” They have not been taught the
true Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I think that is the number one reason so many turn atheist
after experiencing the Divine Healing false doctrine. If you notice, the number one reason they
claim to have turned away from God is because there are so many sick and dying
in the world. Their question: “Why would
a God who holds the keys to everything care so little about us that he would
let entire countries starve to death and sickness claim thousands each day?”
They’ve never been told the real Gospel of Jesus
Christ. They’ve never experienced
peace. They’ve never had Christ as their
Instead, they have a man who can move a string.