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John chapter two tells a story that many are familiar with, one that fully displays the divine nature of Jesus Christ. It is the first of the miracles that are described in the Gospels, turning water into wine.
While marveling at the water being turned into wine, many details of this account given in the Gospel according to John are overlooked. William Branham repeated this story many times throughout his ministry, offering praise for the signs and wonders displayed, but do the other details in the story match Branham's version of the Gospel?
When Jesus' mother came to Jesus, she came pleading for the Messiah to intercede. In Jewish custom, wedding feasts included many guests, requiring large containers filled with several gallons of wine. Asking a mortal to quickly get wine would have been useless, but she knew the true nature of her son. She was not seeking help from the part of Christ that was fully man, but instead, asking for God's help.
Jesus rejected her request, but if you've been trained under the teaching of William Branham, his rejection is different than you expect. In his response, he used a title of respect for his mother, "gynai", which was a word used for adoration and respect. (Strongs 1135, see John 19:26) Jesus said that His "hour" was not yet come, telling his mother that it was not yet time to show the world that God had sent His Son.
But His mother was persistent. Like our mothers in times of desperation, Mary would not take "no" for an answer. She told the servants to do as Jesus commanded them, placing Christ in a position of choosing between the words of his response and the words of His mother. And all of you are familiar with the outcome of this story: the finest wine made purely from water.
But while most Christians marvel at this wonderful testimony recorded in the Gospels, the followers of William Branham believe that Mary's son was a mere prophet who saw a vision from God predicting the water's turning to wine. Branham promoted the idea that during the stage of Christ's life best described as "prophet Jesus,"the Messiah did not have the power to turn water into wine.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing in Himself, but what He sees the Father doing." Well, whatever the Father doeth He showeth the Son. Is that right? "The Father worketh and I worketh hitherto." In other words, "I can do nothing as the Son of God." And men claiming to be Divine healers, when even the Son of God didn't claim to be a Divine healer. He said, "I can do nothing." He didn't claim to be a healer. Said, "It isn't Me that does the work. It's My Father that dwelleth in Me; He doeth the works." Then if we're sons of God today with the Father's Spirit in us, what about it? The same Spirit, the same mind, the same works, the same power... Now, He said, "I can do nothing except My Father shows Me." And when... In other words... Listen close now. This may shock just a little. But Jesus Christ, the Son of God, never performed one miraclewithout first seeing a vision of it, or He told something wrong there. He said, "The Son can do nothing in Himself, but what I see the Father doing." - Branham, 54-1205
The supporting scripture for this teaching comes from John chapter 5, verse 19: "So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing."
But why did William Branham use this verse to support "prophet Jesus," omitting the latter part of verse 19 and the next few verses? While Christians read verse 19 to be describing how Jesus, fully God and fully man, One with the Father, did exactly the same things the Father does, William Branham's version promotes separation. A "prophet Jesus" who must see a vision, and then predict the future.
The rest of verse 19 and the next few verses of chapter 5 read, "For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him."
The question could be asked: does this version of "christ" that Branham promotes dishonor the Son? Does it also dishonor the Father?
If we continue reading chapter 2 of the Gospel according to John, we find more confirmation that Jesus Christ was fully God, fully man. Jesus, in his supreme deity, knew the hearts of men. No "vision" was necessary, Jesus Christ was the Son of God:
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. - John 2
Compare these words of Christ with Branham's version of Jesus, and ask yourselves: Which God would you rather serve? The Branham's version, limited in power? Or the God of the Bible, who knew the hearts and minds of the people before performing one single miracle?
Walked right by the pool of Bethesda where great multitudes was laying there, lame, halt, blind, and healed one man that had an infirmity for thirty-eight years, and passed the group on by. Is that right? Saint John 5. And they questioned Him. He said, "Why, the Son can do nothing but what He sees the Father doing. And whatsoever things that the Father doeth, He showeth the Son. The Son can do what the Father has already done." Now, what happens? The person believed. They believed. They accept it. And then God shows the vision to His Son, His Son reveals it. And He said, "Now, these things that I do shall you also, and greater, for I go unto My Father." Is that right? Now, them same signs and wonders are here. We've just got to close, 'cause it's getting late. I'm sorry that I've been this long. Branham, 51-0415E THE.HOUR.IS.COME
Now listen to the Apostle Paul's version of Christ, which was presented with a warning against men who would try to deceive you:
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority." Colossians 2:8-10