Video available here: http://youtu.be/O8rWZfnOZsQ
When the Divine Healing movement started to gain steam, the
world was watching. A prophet’s
boasting, his adversaries standing firmly against the movement, and the walls
packed with people from coast to coast who came to see this man who could heal
others by the power of God. As he began
to prophesy, proclaiming to be Malachi 4, his followers took their stance
firmly in the faith that this man was receiving the Word from the Lord, while
the other churches began to take notice and observe the movement’s sudden
increase. Many left their jobs, homes,
and families to move closer to the church, not realizing that they were laying
a foundation that was built around a man instead of the God they were seeking.
But that man fell.
Sexual sins and adultery were hidden in the shadows. The love of money had consumed the prophet,
and that foundation that was being laid was self-serving to the ministry and
its elders. Buildings that were constructed
to hold the oncoming populous were abandoned.
Those who had started their new lives around the prophet must start once
more, having learned that the fruits of this spirit were unclean.
That prophet died in 1907, and a city still remains in
remembrance to all that a movement that produces signs and wonders can be the
devil in disguise. When John Alexander
Dowie died, and the people learned that their “Elijah” had failed them, they
were devastated. The foundation that
they had laid began to crumble, and without support from God, was completely
ground into dust. They had laid a
foundation that could not stand.
As humans, we look for the satisfaction of the work of our
own hands. Like artists, we watch the
canvas of our lives begin to fill with vibrant color, and we admire the
half-finished work as though we were in full control of the paintbrush. So easily we forget that God controls our
work. We forget the Hands that hold the
paintbrush as we watch our spiritual walk with Christ unfold. Too many times, we try to take the paintbrush
back from the Painter.
When Dowie rose into fame, he advanced a ministry
proclaiming restoration of the Church.
The prophecies of the Old Testament that pointed to Christ as the
Restorer of Israel were refocused to the Divine Healing movement, and scriptures
were subtly changed to trick the believers into thinking that there was no Hand
holding the paintbrush for the last several centuries. The ancient idea that was based on Mosaic Law
was resurrected, and the state of saving Grace could only be accomplished
through the laying of a new foundation of Christianity. Through these works, Dowie taught that
Healing of the Body could be accomplished as a milestone on the way to
salvation. In his publication, “Leaves
of Healing,” Dowie convinced a nation that was marveling at the success of his
power to heal, and over a hundred thousand people moved into what would become
Zion City, Illinois.
But that restoration movement died unfinished. Though it once produced the fruits of healing
for the body, it did not produce the fruits of the Spirit that the restorer
proclaimed would come through ascetic lifestyles. Rather than seeing the demolished state of
the foundation, the followers of Dowie instead saw a foundation that was
awaiting another restorer to come and built the temple on its platform.
Under Dowie’s teaching and faith healing ministry, Fred
Francis Bosworth received “spiritual enlightenment” with regards to the Divine
Healing ministry, having spontaneously been healed from lung disease that
nearly claimed his life. Believing that
healing was a “fruit of the spirit,” F. F. Bosworth joined the Pentecostal
faith promoted by the followers of Dowie, and went on to become involved with
the Christian and Missionary Alliance – spreading this new “gospel of healing”
to the world. Bosworth himself had
widespread fame, and not just because of his book, “Christ the Healer.” Bosworth was one of the founding fathers of
the Assemblies of God denomination of faith, which has produced fruits such as
Benny Hinn, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, A. A. Allen, and more. This widespread fame caught the attention of
another young minister, one that would later believe that he was building upon
the foundation laid by John Alexander Dowie.
In a meeting in Zion City, Illinois appealing to the
followers of the false prophet Dowie, William Branham claimed to have been born
the day after Dowie Died in 1907. Though
Branham signed his birthdate as April 8, 1908 on government records, and would
later claim to have been born April 6, 1909, Branham’s appeal to the followers
of Dowie was the passing of “Elijah’s mantle” of the Divine Healing Movement to
himself. Referring to a woman who knew
Dowie personally, he said this:
acquainted, of your, our great renowned brother that's--that's sleeping
tonight, no, not sleeping (his body is); his soul's with Jesus: Doctor
Alexander Dowie. "And forty years before... When he died, he
prophesied," she said.
"It'll be forty years after my death, that this city shall go on the rock,
but after that forty years there'll come a revival, that'll be more glorious
than it was in the first place." And I have the writings here in--in--in
just in part that I might read there. It's kinda... "Doctor Dowie prophesied that some forty years after his death,
that the churches would be restored in more power and glory than they were
in--in the former."
In a later sermon to the followers of Dowie, Branham started
the “Elijah’s Mantle” teaching, appealing to the group as the “Elisha” to Dowie’s
Oh, if I... If
Jesus tarries, and I can stay that long, let me be like that. That's right.
Brother Richey here, how I could speak of him, of how down through the age when
I was a little boy in school, he was out there preaching the Gospel and praying
for the sick, when I was just a boy. Your mothers and dads listened to him
preach the Gospel on Divine healing, both of them out of Zion, Illinois.
Candidates are out from under the--the great
teacher late Doctor Dowie. How Doctor Dowie in his death prophesied
that I would come to that city forty years from the time that he died. Not
knowing nothing about it, he died on
one day, and I was borned on the next. And forty years to the day I entered the city,
not knowing nothing about it. Oh, how God's great move is coming together; I
hear the sound of abundance of rain.
But the underlying problem with this foundation is that it
was built upon healing of the body – not upon the Work that Christ did on the
cross. While Christ and the Apostles
taught us that our earthly bodies are fading and of little importance, the
Divine Healing movement refocused our attention from our spiritual bodies once
more to our flesh and blood. Because this
foundation required a “restorer” in human form, and following scriptures out to
their conclusions, scriptures that pointed to Christ must also be redirected to
the leader of the movement. Only a few
days before God removed William Branham from this earth in accordance with
scriptures against false prophecy, Branham claimed that he was Christ
itself. This “Elijah’s Mantle” that was
passed from Dowie to himself was promoted to be greater than Dowie. While Dowie was just the man that fell to
sins that split a following, Branham claimed that THIS Elijah [himself] was the
Lord Jesus Christ:
Now, we've had Elijahs, and Elijahs' coats, and Elijahs' mantles, and Elijahs'
everything. But the Elijah of this
day is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to come according to Matthew the
seventeen-... Luke 17:30, says the Son of man is to reveal Himself among His
people. Not a man, God! But
it'll come through a prophet. Now, He
never had two major prophets at the same time, never, in the world.
See? No matter how much there's... two--two heads can't... It has to be one head. God has to get one man under His
control. See? There's one God; there was Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but one
God over it all, notice, and just used them offices. So has He with Elijah, the
Spirit of Elijah; He used that Spirit, but the same God controlling It all the
time to fulfill His Word.
But again, the foundation that was laid atop of another
crumbling foundation cannot stand. The
restoration that proclaimed Divine Healing, a new gospel that associated
healing with salvation cannot stand from its own foundation. Unless it was a foundation laid by God, it
will crumble yet again.
The fruits that this ministry promised as its gospel was
proclaimed were all fruits that described worldly things: outward appearance, healing of the flesh, and
restoration of the law – or of partial law.
With the restoration of these things, the ministry proclaimed a restoration
of the church. If the members were to
uphold the foundation themselves by upholding the commandments of men, Branham
claimed that the wall would increase into a “Word Bride,” that could give
themselves “rapturing faith.”
But the problem, again, is foundation. Paul called the Mosiac Law the “Law of
death.” He said that it was obsolete,
and that it was given as our tutorial as we rose into maturity with instruction
that we could never save ourselves. Man
was not designed to save himself, God in his perfect plan built mankind to require
a Savior. He did not want us to have the
glory in our salvation; God wanted us to look to His Son for our
salvation. The Bible says that we sin
daily, and to deny this is to deny the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What good is the Good News if we could save
ourselves? For what purpose would God
send His only Son to die for us if he knew that we could simply lift ourselves
into “rapturing faith” and save ourselves from the fire?
In fact, the Apostle Paul calls these “restorers”
immature. They come laying new
foundations that are not built upon Christ, but instead are built upon the work
of our own hands. He calls these things
“dead works,” because Christ’s Work on the cross was once-for-all. There is nothing that we ourselves can do to
earn our salvation, and our “rapturing faith” is simply to believe that as
sinners, we are saved by Grace as a Gift from God.
us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying
again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and
of instruction about baptisms and the laying on of hands, the resurrection of
the dead, and eternal judgment.
For by grace
you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the
gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
But again, that foundation crumbled. According to William Branham, 1977 was the
“year of jubilee,” and Branham claimed that according to Divine Inspiration,
this date in time would usher in the new millennium. Many lived through that year, watching
“Divine Inspiration” fail. Those that
remained continually discuss what, exactly, this jubilee meant since there was
no spiritual significance, and some invent new doctrines surrounding events
that took place in 1977 without binding them to Branham’s entire teaching of
that year. They can find history that
supports one or two elements of the “Message Year of Jubilee,” but 1977 did not
produce all aspects of the “Divine Inspiration.”
The crumbling of Branham’s foundation of works has continued,
until even the followers are starting to notice the questionable fruits of the
ministry. One church will not associate
with another, because of doctrinal division.
Some claim that their teaching holds the mystery behind the seventh
seal, while others believe that Branham alone held this mystery. Those that have left and entered Christian
Churches with solid foundations realize that the Lamb alone was worthy to open
the seals, and that no man can know this mystery.
From the hundreds that have contacted me personally, having
left the Branham denomination, there is a wide variety of people and reasons
for leaving. Like myself, some have
discovered prophecies that did not come to pass exactly like William Branham
claimed, and quickly started to realize that all prophecy was given
after-the-fact. Others, having a strong
desire to start studying their Bibles, started to realize that the teaching
recorded on tape does not match scripture, and that many verses were invented,
twisted, and combined, adding to the scriptures and taking away from God’s
Word. But some left because of the fruit
produced from this foundation, knowing nothing of the false teaching or failed
The Love that Christ displayed is not dominating the
movement. Specific churches claim to
have this love, and even claim to love others that are outside of Branham’s
foundation, but as a whole, they started to realize that this was not the
case. Around the world, churches
claiming to hold fast onto the Branham foundation have an unusual amount of
bitterness towards their fellow man, and heeding Branham’s advice, point
fingers at all other churches calling them the “Mark of the Beast.” The mainstream fruit of this foundation is
the belief that without faith in William Branham, one cannot be saved. They have built their faith upon Branham’s
foundation rather than the cross.
But William Branham was not able to produce “rapturing
faith” in the days leading up to his horrific death, and Branham’s “year of
jubilee” was fruitless. 1977 produced
nothing with the exception of a great falling away by those that were seeking
fulfillment of failed prophecy against the United States. The elders of this faith and their families –
the ones with their outstretched hands uplifting the foundation that Branham
built did not produce “rapturing faith” through their ascetic lifestyles, and
those that have sweat beads running down their faces from bearing the load
blame the failure upon those that live normal lives that William Branham
considered to be “worldly.” Branham’s
foundation, laid atop of Dowie’s foundation, has crumbled.
There is only one answer to this problem, when trying to
earn salvation from any other foundation than Christ. When your platform turns to dust, you must
erect another. And since the elders were
not capable of saving themselves through dead works and since they are growing
weak while bearing the load of Branham’s crumbling foundation, there must be
another generation to carry the burden.
We must have Young Foundations.
Children of today are not smarter than the older generation,
but they have access to a wealth of knowledge that their fathers could not
see. While their father’s listened
earnestly as William Branham praised the false prophet Dowie, the children can
easily access history of his failed prophecies and sinful failures with just a
few keystrokes. Children have keyword
searches to Branham’s own prophecies, and can line them up in order to watch
them gradually change from their original “spoken word” and into a completely
and entirely different “prophecy” – all while “prophesied” after-the-fact. They must be trained to ignore the cracks in
the wall, patch them with their own sweat and blood, and try to uphold what
their fathers could not. The entire
burden of producing “rapturing faith” is now placed upon the children.
There is a cost for abandoning the Gospel of Jesus
Crist. After Paul condemned those that
would rise to lay new foundations, he was not mildly speaking against them with
a gentle persuasion. Paul rebuked them
heavily, saying that their only end was to be burnt by the fire.
impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have
tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted
the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then
have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are
crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to
contempt. For land that has drunk the
rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake
it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
But if it bears thorns and
thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be
But sadly, these children are slaves to the desires of their
parents. Because they themselves could
not produce “rapturing faith,” they must decide whether they were holding a
failing foundation for the majority of their lives, or whether they were
failures in life that were unable to produce Branham’s perfect will. To admit failure is to admit false religion,
and in the eyes of their children, become ignorant to the Word of God. The children are enslaved to the failures of
their parents, now having to bear the burden of weight as they reconstruct the crumbling foundation of their fathers.
But with each new foundation laid, it grows further and
further from the original foundation, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Good News that none are worthy, is
forgotten. The Gospel that describes a
loving Father sending His only Son to die to save those who could not save
themselves is not taught to these children, in replacement for the doctrines of
a failing foundation. The children are
re-taught the same doctrines from the same foundation that failed to produce
rapturing faith, and these new “Young Foundations” are destined to suffer the
And the load is much more difficult to bear than
before. With each new exposure of the
fictional stories that Branham claimed to represent his past life, a new
question is raised. With each new
invented scripture found, the younger generation with access to the information
highway are now staggering to the combination of questions as to why the past
foundation failed, why the teachings do not align with scripture, and why they
are forced to carry the load for something that they did not build
themselves. To these people, the Gospel
of Jesus Christ is appealing – because Christ carries the load for them.
My heart bleeds for the “Young Foundations.” Like myself, many will suffer through life
not realizing that the work they do is in vain.
Their entire lives become another book of Ecclesiastes, and their
struggle to uphold the extra-biblical teachings of their fathers will never
produce any sort of faith greater than what is given to them by the Gift of the
Holy Spirit. They will blindly wander
through life looking for something that was not meant to be. It is only by the Grace and Mercy of God that
we are able to enter the kingdom, and there is nothing we can do to earn our
place in the New Jerusalem.
If nothing changes, these children will come to a great
fall. Unless the old foundation is
abandoned, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is taught, they will suffer a fate
worse than their parents, because their load is much harder to bear. The parents ask something of their children
that they could never do themselves.
If you are a child that has been born into this cult, you
are not alone. Many of us from around the
world were destined to fall, just like you are now. Many of us, like myself, have fallen. The weight was unbearable, and our attempt to
earn this “rapturing faith” did not succeed.
We went through a punishment worse than death for the sake of our fathers
and their failed attempt, simply because we had never been taught the Gospel of
Jesus Christ. We never knew that Christ
would carry this load for us, never knew that our outward appearance and
ascetic lifestyle had no merit, and never knew that Christ’s work on Calvary
was sufficient for every age. We never
knew that the Covenant of Grace was eternal – because under dispensationalism,
the Covenant of Grace un-scripturally had an end.
If you are a child that has already fallen, you are also not
alone. Many have broken under this load,
and fled Christ. Many did not know that
this god we served in the Message was not the God of the Bible. We were taught the “god of wrath” that
ignored the cross to smite a wife and daughter.
We were taught a different jesus, one that died on the cross as just a
man. One that was nothing more than an
angel, which is now lower than even humans.
We were not taught the Christ of the bible, and many fled to different
gods or no god at all.
But do not worry. God
will never leave you nor forsake you.
Many of those same people are now coming back to Christ, and the Holy
Spirit is constantly calling out for those that are buried under the rubble of
the foundation their fathers could not uphold.
Come to Christ, and make Him your foundation. Do not look for a “young foundation” to build
something better than the cross – look to the Foundation that was laid over
2000 years ago.