Video available here: http://youtu.be/nX7NUKBLq-4
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
This single statement in John chapter three is one that should bring tears to the eyes of every single Christian. We are undeserving. All men have sinned and fell short. We are unworthy, yet through Christ, we are made worthy. God loved us so much that he sent His only Son to die.
In Branham's ministry, this verse is repeated twenty-one times. But does the "message" of William Branham match the rest of this passage?
Many of the sermons recorded by William Branham contain references to passages in the Old Testament that describe God's judgment on Israel and the coming Day of the Lord. Even the foundation of his promotion as the prophet of "Malachi 4" is one of judgment, not of grace.
In fact, one of the prophecies left unfulfilled was that of "judgment" striking Los Angeles before Branham's son, Billy Paul Branham, was an "old man." While many apologists focus on the factual evidence of a failed prophecy, very few stop to consider the unscriptural elements to the prophecy itself.
"Remember, many of you men standing right there, that rock, that day when that Angel came down there. And that Light and Fire falling from the Heaven, around the rock where we were standing there. Rocks flang out of the mountains, and falling across there. She blasted three times, hard. I said, 'Judgment will strike the West Coast.' Two days after that, Alaska almost sunk." Branham, 65-1204
In fact, this "god of wrath" was the premise behind Branham's journey into Pentecostalism. Though history records his wife Hope involved with the youth ministry of the Pentecostal Tabernacle before marriage, Branham claims that the "god of wrath" smote Hope and his daughter because he listened to his mother-in-law and kept her away from the Pentecostals. One can only imagine the number of people that joined the movement to avoid being struck down by God.
Throughout history, many men have risen into power by standing on a platform of fear. Scriptures have been taken out of context, refocused from the curse of the Law towards the current events with intent to gain a following. And while this misuse of scripture may momentarily attract people into church, the "god" it is attracting them to is not the God of the Bible -- the God that loved the world enough to send His only Son to die for them.
While you will find the first verse quoted throughout the "message" of Branham, the next few verses are scriptures that you won't find mentioned. Listeners might have questioned the "judgment" prophecies after realizing that we are living under the Eternal New Covenant of Grace:
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God. - John 3:16-21
Notice that verse, "And THIS is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and the people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil."
If you examine any of the Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming judgment, there is one thing you will find in common: a reference to the coming Messiah. The Law was given. The Children of Israel failed. The curse was given. The prophets came to proclaim the curse. But then, the Son was given to die for the sins of the world. A savior took our place.
"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