Video available here: http://youtu.be/lWheQwWw-PA
William Branham said some very good things.
When cult followers come across Seek Ye The Truth, their
mind is focused on the negative in such a way that they misunderstand a stand
for the Truth as a rejection of everything.
As with any religious group that lifts the leader into a higher
spiritual status than themselves, to speak negative of any part of the leader’s
beliefs is to speak against his entire teaching.
Branham was active with many other men, some of which were
good, solid, Bible-based preachers. In
the Voice of Healing magazine published by William Branham and Gordon Lindsay,
you will find hundreds of men in the faith healing movement. Branham’s own publication describes the many
healings that took place in their ministries.
Even the well-loved favorite sermon, “The Eagle In Her
Nest,” has some very good things to say.
It was a sermon copied from C. L. Franklin’s 1953 Sermon, “As The Eagle
Stirs Her Nest.” You’ll notice that
Branham’s title has been changed on the tape index to avoid conflict – this was
Franklin’s most popular sermon of all time.
These men Branham associated with brought some powerful
sermons that included some strong truths that we find in God’s Word. And those truths were relayed to Branham’s
own small following.
But these sermons, filled with both truth and fiction, are a
gift and a curse.
Most followers refuse to draw a line between the good things
William Branham taught and the occult.
If you point out Branham’s occult teaching on the Zodiac and the
Pyramids, you’ll face a strong opposition.
Scriptures will be stretched from the punishments described under the Mosaic
Law for this type of worship into hints that maybe God does not think the
occult is so bad after all.
When you explain to the people that Branham’s 1909 birthdate
was complete fiction to promote a story about a fortuneteller – one who puts
these occult Zodiac numerologies into action – followers will ignore the truth
to support the evil. They will ignore
Branham’s own marriage license, and the United States Census records showing a
1908 birthdate, just to support the occult!
We have denied the things that are an abomination before
God, just as the Bible tells us to do.
We have warned others about these things, just as the Bible tells us to
do. We have stood for the Truth.
You see, a cult does not look at the Body of Christ as One
Body. They do not seek nourishment from
the other parts of the Body; they have been programmed to believe that their
severed portion receives nourishment from itself. They have been programmed to believ that all
other parts of the body are despised, and that nothing can be gained by the
working of the Holy Spirit in those other parts.
Paul says in Romans 12,
as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same
function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members
one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our
serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his
exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with
zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
By nature, a religious cult must deny this passage of
scripture. The working of the Holy
Spirit throughout the entire body is denied, and all of these functions that
Paul mentions for the entire Body of Christ is believed to have been manifested
in one single human being: the cult leader.
Because of this, they reject the very thing that God has
given them to grow and mature, spiritually:
We are often asked by people trapped in the Branham cult,
“Where are the Gifts of the Spirit in the other churches outside of Branham?”
…and then they combine that sentence with, “where do we see
people being healed or see prophecy?”
If you mention “exhortation” to them, they look at you with
this glazed and dumbfounded look on their faces. Branham has trained them to ignore most of
the Spiritual Gifts to the church, and focus on the things that Branham claimed
to have been given. To them, exhortation
is just another word for “argument.”
It’s ironic, because when we look at the definition of
exhortation, we find exactly what the cult followers are condemning when their
attacks turn into hatred in our discussion forums. The definition of “exhortation” is “to incite
or excite others through an argument or advice: strongly urge.”
And exhortation is a spiritual gift! Cult followers actually deny themselves a
gift from God when they program themselves to believe that the cult leader is
the only human with power to urge them to truth. In 1 Thessalonians 2:12, the Apostle Paul
describes the ministry of the early Christians among the Thessalonians as “encouraging,
comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his
kingdom and glory”. We must worship God
in both Spirit and in Truth.
In the fifth chapter of Thessalonians, Paul asks for others
to pray for exhortation. Paul placed strong
value on this spiritual Gift; it was one of the gifts given to edify the
urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in
the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their
work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted,
uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to
anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will
of God in Christ Jesus for you.
not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast
what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”
If the Apostle Paul was alive today, and he was to have come
across a cult that had lifted William Branham into the power of sorcerer, he
would probably quote from this passage.
I can hear Paul saying, “Don’t serve a false prophet! Take the good things that he said, and use
them to encourage one another! Test ALL
things. If we find the occult in the
teaching, walk away from it, taking only the things that are good!”
It is sad to say, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is
offensive. Though it is a simple Gospel,
Good News describing the greatest Gift that God has given us, it is offensive.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News that God loved
us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins and
free us from the Old Covenant Law. He
suffered and bled on the cross so that we did not have to, died, and rose again
so that we can rise with Him.
He promised that the Father would send His Holy Spirit, and
that Spirit would lead us and guide us into all Truth.
It is offensive, because to accept truth, one must first
humble his pride. He might have to
accept failure. He might suffer
A cult pastor is given a choice: either admit that they were promoting lies
from behind the platforms and accept God’s exhortation, or try to cover them up
like a small child hiding his green beans under his biscuit. No matter how you try to hide them, they are
Apologetic websites are not a rebuke of the man. All men sin, and some are led astray by
forces that we cannot see. When the
Truth is uplifted by exposing the false, the man is not the focus – the
doctrine is the focus.
Romans 12 tells us the “Marks of a True Christian,” and this
passage brings a sobering thought. These
sayings are instructions for not only the person the apologetic is speaking to,
but also are intended to exhort the apologetic himself.
love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection.
Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in
spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant
in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who
rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be
haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay
no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of
all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is
written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if
your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink;
for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil
You’ll notice that Paul is giving exhortation, not only for
the ones arguing against the early Christians, but also the Christians
themselves. There are as many
instructions pointed at the giver as are pointed at the receiver.
It’s difficult. I
think that this is something that we all struggle with. Those on both sides of the debate have placed
their emotions into the argument, and those emotions lead from simple
persecution to vengeance. But Paul said
that vengeance was reserved for God, and God alone.
As an apologetic, we must be careful to exhort the cult
followers with patience. We must never
lose sight on the fact that they are no different than we are. Some of us were in their shoes, not very long
ago. God has blessed us with an eye
salve that has opened our eyes and allowed us to separate the truth from the
But we must remember that cult followers that uplift a man
do not have this ability. Any hole that
is poked in their leader’s theology is a hole pierced through the man himself –
not the doctrine that the man promoted.
When we tell them that William Branham promoted the occult, their ears
do not hear what we are saying. They
misunderstand our words to say that William Branham himself was THE occult.
My favorite parable that Jesus gave is the parable of the
sower and the seed. If you are active in
any apologetic discussions, you’ll find comfort in the words of Christ.
We are nothing more than spreaders of seed. Some of those seeds will fall into fertile
soil. Some will fall into rock. We can stand there to water the seed
ourselves, but if we try to stand there, watering the seed until we see growth,
we will drown it. We will never see it
God is the one that brings the water. God is the one that gives the growth. It is not our job to focus on one single seed
until we see the roots take hold – that would give us the glory and make us
become filled with pride.
Our glory is to be given to God. Everything we do, we must do it to show the
power of almighty God. We must show
others that we are all God’s children, and that His Gospel is the only gospel
that can save the lost.
Let the exhortation spread the seed. But let the Holy Spirit take our water
buckets and start watering with rain from the heavens.