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John chapter five tells the story of the man waiting by the pool of Bethesda, crippled for thirty-eight years. Many waited around the five colonnades for the stirring of the water, believing that an angel would offer them healing. In this scripture, we find many powerful statements that point to the Deity of Christ, insomuch that the Jews wanted to stone Him for making himself equal with God. But does this story match Branham's "message?"
William Branham promoted a message of faith, the primary component to salvation. Ephesians 2 tells us that it is by Grace that we are saved, through Faith in Jesus Christ. Throughout scripture, faith in God has saved men from sin, fed the hungry, and even made the sun stand still. Our faith in God is as Paul says, the "substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things unseen."
But Branham seemed to have promoted a "faith in faith" ministry. In the example of the woman that touched the garment of Christ, Branham claimed that Christ did not heal the woman -- instead, her "faith" healed her. His exact words were "He had nothing to do with it."
The woman that touched His garment. Now, He never did that; He never said He did it. He said, "Thy faith has saved thee. Thy faith has saved thee." Blind Bartimaeus at the gate, "Thy faith has made thee whole." He had nothing to do with it. - Branham, 60-0326
For Branham, this "faith in faith" was not simply for the patient that filled out the prayer cards with their names, addresses, and afflictions. Branham seems to have believed that his faith in faith could heal those who came through the prayer lines. In a very bold statement, Branham claims that he could heal any child "without even praying for it."
As many times in a meeting, I'll take any cross-eyed child you've got in this meeting, you bring it up here without even praying for it, and just let me look at it straight in the eyes like that, I'll make its eyes come straight. - Branham, 47-0412
But this man at the pool of Bethesda did not know Christ. When questioned, he did not know who had healed him. And his faith was not in Christ, the man was at the pool to see the water stirred. In fact, it would seem that the man had very little time for any sort of faith -- Jesus passed by and told him to rise and walk.
When they found Jesus in the temple, the Jews were angry that he had healed a man on the Sabbath. In his response, Jesus stated that until this point in time, His Father had been working. But now, He was working. Christ had the same authority to grant healing as the Father.
And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working until now, and I am working." This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. - John 5:16-18
If you are in the following of William Branham, this is the point were you are given a decision, one that either places you into the side of Christianity or the side against it. The rest of this chapter speaks to the authority given to Christ, which is further explaining and confirming the Deity of Christ. You are given the choice of whether to believe the Bible as it describes the Deity and the authority of Christ, or to believe William Branham as he claims that Christ "had nothing to do with it," and that Christ "could not heal one person without first seeing a vision from the Father."
Continue with us as we examine chapter five. Our hope and prayer is that you choose the side of Christianity.