John chapter two describes the only recorded instance of Christ displaying his anger against the people. The story of Christ overturning tables of the money changers is a reminder that no matter how respected, the hearts of sinful men can be purchased by money.
Under Old Covenant Law, the the sacrificial offering was established was required for atonement for sin, and the tithing system including an offering to the priest to support his dedication to the temple. Jewish custom required the Children of Israel to make their way to the temple for the offering, which was a difficult journey for some when you consider the animals used for sacrifice. As a "service to the people," there were men of the temple who made their living by selling animals for offering. Using their "service," the people could make their journey to the temple without having to bring their own offering.
And while the tithing system under the Mosaic Law had provisions for the tithe to be returned to the congregation during the Sabbaths and Jubilees, the sacrifice to the Lord was left on the alter as a blood or burnt offering. In essence, this "convenience" kept their sacrifice "out of sight and out of mind," simply bringing some extra money to the temple along with their tithes.
But over time, this "convenience" became a monopoly. The animals were well over-priced, and the money changers were servicing mostly themselves at the expense of the congregation. All while the people turned this practice into a custom that was never questioned.
But can the pastors in the following of William Branham relate themselves more with the congregation at the mercy of custom, or have they become modern day money changers?
Jesus Christ told us that the Mosaic Law, which included the tithing system that is promoted, was in effect until John the Baptist. According to Christ, the Law was replaced with the Gospel of the Kingdom:
"The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it." - Luke 16:16
Pastors in the following of William Branham follow Branham's teaching concerning the Law's requirements for tithe -- requirements for the congregations, not the priest. Branham's emphasis on the congregation tithing did not include an emphasis on the pastors providing for their members during Sabbath days, weeks, months, and years, as the Mosaic Law required. There is no Year of Jubilee for the pastors to return the tithe -- save only enough for their own provisions -- back to the congregation. Like the money changers, the pastors have advantage of tradition, and the people willing give without examining the profits made from this custom. Without returning the tithes during Sabbath, simple math will tell you that every ten people of the congregation provide a salary for the "priest."
Many pastors in this following take a portion of the money from their tables, and send it to the larger tables in Jeffersonville. Their offering to Voice of God Recordings has paid for a multi-million dollar complex, sporting facilities in neighboring cities, recreational vehicles and more. All while Voice of God Recordings struggles to find a place to move the hundreds of million dollars in excess, setting up new tax shelters to contain the money. Jehovah Jireh Foundation, for instance, was created to hold the $100,000,000 recently accumulated. Not to mention the foreign exchange accounts that grow profit with currency fluctuation.
Again, this is the only time we see Christ angry. The poor people were taken advantage of by tradition, a tradition that Christ said had ended with John.
If you are in this following, you must ask the question: Is my tithe being used to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it even being used to further the "gospel" of William Branham? Or does it land on a pastor's desk with a golden plaque that says, "The Buck Stops Here?"