Video available here: http://youtu.be/IS5yv3-V148
William Branham often made a statement on recorded tape, “I
don’t know the book, but I know the Author real well,” referring to the
Bible. And then, would commence teaching
that same book to the growing minds of men, women, and children, longing to
know more about God’s Word.
Yet the Bible says that to know God, you know His Word. He IS the Word. That same Word was made manifest into flesh
and came to die for our sins.
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without
him was not any thing made that was made.
Jesus rebuked the Pharisees from straying from God’s Word,
and yet that same Word was proclaiming Christ all throughout the Old Testament.
scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which
testify of me.
When my family took our stand for the Truth, and left the
Branham movement, one of the first harsh realizations that hit us was that we
knew very little about our Bibles. A
great deal of what we knew came from this “teacher,” and a great deal of what
William Branham taught is not found in scripture. Worse, a great deal of scripture was not
found in the recordings of his ministry from 1947 to 1965 – huge portions were
While he claimed to be a “Huckleberry Finn” preacher that
was not a good study of the Word of God, it turns out that he was a strong
study of the writings of other men. It
is very easy to identify Charles Taze Russell’s Jehovah’s Witness theology
woven through the sermons, or the teachings of Doctor Dowie, the false prophet
from Zion, Illinois. You’ll find
Russell’s version of the Book of Revelation until he starts reading from
Clarence Larkin, at which time the “White Horse Rider” changes sides in the
I suddenly realized that we were treading dangerous ground
when I compared Branham’s teaching of the scripture with the last chapter of
the Bible, specifically the 18th and 19th verse of the 22nd
chapter of Revelation:
If any man
shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are
written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book
of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out
of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
We could easily identify huge portions of the Bible teaching
that had been removed to support the doctrines of Dowie and Russell, as well as
many teachings that were added to the Word of God. Elijah’s “dislike of women,” for instance,
and his condemnation of Jezebel’s hair are not found in scripture. It was quite a shock to find that Elijah’s
dislike was strongly pointed towards idolatry and human sacrifice instead of
the harmless eye shadow of a queen.
Yet he continued to make statements about knowing the
“Author” without knowing the Word:
I’m not very much of a--of a teacher from the Word of God.
And I probably don't know too much about His Book, but as I've often said,
"I know the Author real well."
The irony of this is the number of pastors that this
movement has produced, many of which are great studies of Branham’s teaching of
scripture. His newly invented passages
and his mixture of verses from different contexts are quoted repetitiously from
behind pulpits into the younger generation of this movement without the
slightest concern that they are teaching the growing minds of children from a
teacher who admittedly taught something that he did not know.
After reading and studying this book I’ve held in my hands
for the past thirty-five years of my life, I regret not having studied it for
myself long before. I read my Bible,
like everyone else warming the pews of the Branham Tabernacle, but I read the
chapters as though they were isolated from the rest of the book. I got really exited when I could find
something that seemed to support what William Branham taught – it was like
finding that last hidden Easter Egg after all the other children had taken the
There are so many good things in the Word of God, all of
which point to Jesus Christ. While
trying to point scriptures to Branham’s teaching, we were missing so many
things that God was trying to tell us in His Word. Entire books were left out of Branham’s
“message,” books that were fundamental in helping us to understand the failure
of works-righteous faith.
Lamentations, for instance, is fundamental in understanding
the failure of the Old Covenant of Law and the need for a Redeemer to free us
from trying to save ourselves by the rules we keep. Yet this book is only mentioned one single
time in the entire recorded ministry of William Branham – and not even on recorded
tape. It is written in the “Church Age
Book,” and ironically is used to speak out against this doctrine of “knowing
the Author and not knowing the Book.”
What William Branham says here is absolutely correct:
Now we ask, "What is the will of God?" There is
only ONE WAY to know His will and that is by the WORD OF GOD.
Lamentations 3:37, "Who is he that saith, and it cometh
to pass when the Lord commandeth it not?"
There it is. If it isn't in the Word you can't have it. So we can't ask
unless it's in the Word, and we can't petition or ask unless it is in His Name.
There it is again. JESUS (the Name) is the WORD (will). You can't separate God
and the Word. They are ONE.
This statement is correct.
We cannot separate God and the Word.
They are One, just as the Book of John tells us. The Word IS God. We cannot know the Author without knowing the
But following the Pentecostal movement and its “great
leaders,” William Branham promoted doctrines of law that had no room for the
book of Lamentations. One can only assume
why this book was omitted in his teaching, but the book of Lamentations
certainly does not speak well for works-righteous faith.
God made Covenants with the righteous men in the Bible, but
not because they were living perfect lives – because God loved them and chose
them. God’s covenant with Noah was
before the Law was given, and yet it was an unconditional covenant:
And the Lord
smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse
the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil
from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I
Yet in the extra-biblical teaching of William Branham, the
ground was already cursed, and man must earn salvation by adhering to the
rules. Failure to obey was to “Grieve
the Holy Spirit Away” – even though the Bible says that He will never leave us
nor forsake us.
God’s covenant with Abraham was also unconditional. The children of Abraham would be without
And he brought
him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are
able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
But God’s Covenant with Moses was conditional. God promised blessings if the Children obeyed
the Law, and promised curses if they did not obey. This Covenant was a two-part contract between
God and man, signed by blood:
Then he took
the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people. And they
said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” And Moses took the blood and threw it on the
people and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with
you in accordance with all these words.”
But almost immediately, this contract was broken. It only lasted until the 32nd
chapter of Exodus:
And the Lord
said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land
of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They
have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made
for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and
said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of
The Old Testament gives example after example of the sin of
man. Each time a righteous man rose to
uphold the Law, that same man fell. None
could keep the rules that God had given them, and none could make themselves
worthy by their own actions. They needed
Not just a Savior for sin.
They had made a covenant, and had broken it. The Children of Israel were now placed under
the curses of the Old Covenant, the “Curse of the Law.” They needed a Savior who would redeem them
from the curse of the Law.
Interestingly, the original Ten Commandments were given with
no curse, and were before the Law of Moses.
Before the graven image, the commandments given to Moses were
instructions with no condemnation. But
after God’s wrath was kindled against Israel, the Mosaic Law was given with
both blessing and curse.
Under God’s Wrath, this part was added:
“But if you
will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his
commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses
shall come upon you and overtake you. Cursed
shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading
bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your
womb and the fruit of your ground, the increase of your herds and the young of
your flock. Cursed shall you be when you
come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
The chapter continues on describing the curses in great
detail, everything from famine to captivity to pestilence and death. All of these things described as curses if
the Children of Israel could not keep the rules of the Law – and they couldn’t.
Paul says this, in Galatians 3:10-13:
For all who
rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be
everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and
do them." Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the
law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." But the law is not of
faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them." Christ
redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us-for it is
written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"
And if we try to save ourselves by upholding any single
portion of the Mosaic Law, we have placed ourselves back under the curse:
again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the
The Book of Lamentations is describing the fallen state of
Israel after suffering from the Curse of the Law. Chapter one describes the mourning of the
Judah has gone
into exile because of affliction and hard servitude; she dwells now among the
nations, but finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the
midst of her distress.
And the people admitted defeat. They could not uphold the Law, and they
needed a savior:
“The Lord is in
the right, for I have rebelled against his word; but hear, all you peoples, and
see my suffering; my young women and my young men have gone into captivity.
But even in distress, God had never left them. Remember, God said that He will never leave
us nor forsake us.
love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new
every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my
soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks
him. It is good that one should wait
quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Malachi chapter 4 describes God’s prophecy to Israel through
Malachi, reassuring the Children of Israel that the hearts would be restored to
the fathers rather than destroying the entire land for failure to keep the
Law. God’s second Covenant with Moses
was conditional, but God’s Covenant with Noah was unconditional. God promised Noah that He would NOT smite the
entire earth, and nothing mankind can do will break that Covenant. Remember what God said:
I will not
again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's
heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing
living, as I have done.
Lamentations ends with the pleading words to God. Israel begged for restoration. They needed a Savior to redeem them from
their fallen state, and deserved the penalty of everlasting separation from
God. But they knew that God was
faithful, and knew that He promised them to never again wipe mankind from the
face of the earth.
Restore us to
yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored!
Renew our days as of old—unless you have utterly rejected us, and you
remain exceedingly angry with us.
Followers of William Branham point this prophecy of
redemption away from Jesus Christ, saying that the “restorer” is William
Branham. Christ is denied so that man
can be lifted and law is restored so that Grace can be denied.
How long can this last?
How long before those in the Message start writing their own “book of
Lamentations,” pleading with God to restore them from their fallen state?
How long before they accept the One who already came to