Video available here: http://youtu.be/ZgY2NuFo12A
Many leaders of the Pentecostal movement promoted a “god of wrath” using fundamental passages of scripture and twisting them out of context to suit his own purpose. William Branham was no exception.
Throughout the Old Testament, we find examples of the many attributes of God, which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, which Paul describe as the “Gifts of the Spirit.” After describing them, Paul says, “Against such things there is no law.”
These are the attributes of God, but the most fundamental element of this list is love. If you love, you are patient. If you love, you are kind. If you love, you are gentle, in self-control, and are filled with joy. God is not the “god of wrath” that was promoted by the “message” of William Branham; he is a God of Love that is promoted by the Bible.
But God is also a God of justice, which is the primary focus of the Pentecostal movement; a God who they resurrected Law to promote. Not the entire Mosaic Law, however, the Pentecostal movement pick-and-chose which “laws” suited their agendas, both from the New Covenant and the Old. Women must have long hair, which they claim was a new “law” established by the Apostle Paul, but they ignore the portion of that scripture stating that women must not braid their hair. “The braiding of hair must have been cultural! Let’s ignore that, but condemn the entire world of other Christians because they can’t see which “law” we picked from Paul’s statements!
William Branham’s ministry focused solely on the “judgment” side of the scriptures, which promoted an in-balanced “god” – a “god” that many who leave the message refuse to serve. And with … absolute… justified reason. If this ministry was based on complete fiction, then this “god” must also be fiction. How could God pretend to love the world enough to send His only Son to die for us, if he is a “god of wrath” that would not care about the people of Sodom? Or the people of the entire face of the planet during Noah’s day?
And William Branham combined scriptures, from two different books of the Bible, promoting this “god of wrath” as the same “god” that is ready to bring down his vengeance upon any who did not believe in his own ministry. He often is quoted saying, “As it was in the days of Noah wherein eight souls were saved, so also shall it be in the coming of the Son of Man.”
But these passages of scripture, one taken from the Gospels and the other taken from 1 Peter 2 and 3, are describing two of the attributes of God: the God of Love, and the God of Justice to protect those who love Him! Peter, describing exactly this fact, explains why the “eight persons” were saved:
“God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.” – 1 Peter 3:20
You’ll remember that “patience” was one of the fruits of the spirit, and is a result of the Love of God. God protecting his own.
Does that mean that God did not love the people of Sodom? By no means!
Just as we have a set of laws established to protect our good, loving and caring people of today from the wicked and evil of our cities, God has established Himself as a God of Justice to protect the righteous. And before you can understand what “the righteous” means, you must first remember that Branham twisted even that simple of a statement. “Righteous” does not mean “those who believe William Branham to be a prophet of this last day.”
Those riding on the false teaching of the Pentecostal movement and this twisted “god of wrath” use Sodom as their example. Our “god” is a VEANGEFUL “god”, one who cares so little for mankind that he would demolish an entire CITY of people!
Branham used Sodom as his example for almost every major doctrine. Billy Graham, another Christian man speaking to other Christian people, was described by William Branham as going “down into Sodom” by speaking to the Christian denominations of faith. All while he, himself, pretended to do the same through the Full Gospel Businessman’s Association!
Some pastors influenced by this false teaching use homosexuality as their platform for Sodom. “The city was so filled with homosexuals that God smote them from the face of the earth!” I have heard this false teaching coming from so many pulpits that it is evident to see that the Pentecostal movement has infected the church.
If we read Ezekiel 16, we find that Sodom was condemned for losing the love of their fellow man. And God said that Jerusalem was worse than Sodom, because she prostituted herself to the other pagan nations who also had lost love for their fellow man. This “love,” the summary of all of the attributes of God, is what God considers to be “righteousness.”
But to protect those who have this love for their fellow man in their hearts, God must become a God of justice.
Abraham pleaded with God for Him to spare Sodom. Genesis 18 explains that Abraham begged God – if there be 50 who had righteousness (love for their fellow man) found in Sodom, please let the be spared! … there was not.
Abraham continued to plead. “Lord if there be 45, let them be spared!” All the way down to ten, Abraham begged. If there just be ten people found in the city – a massive city filled with thousands of people according to history – God would have spared them. Ten people who had love for their fellow man!
But there was not. These people, filled with hatred and evil, filled with idolatry, pagan sacrifice, and more, were a threat to God’s people. They were a threat to love itself – selfishness breeds contempt. For the sake of Love, for the sake of Mercy, for the sake of Patience, Longsuffering, and Peace, God must become a God of Justice. The wicked must be removed.
Just as the wicked must be removed during Noah’s time. God loved righteousness – those who love their fellow man – so much that he spared even eight souls from the entire face of the planet!
He loved us enough to use the entire Old Testament describing the history of the Mosaic Law as a “tutor” or “example” to give us freedom. Just as we’ve learned in the Branham movement, law cannot produce love. Mankind cannot save themselves by trying to enforce “rules” that do not abound in love. We cannot love a person we are condemning for the clothes they wear, the hair fashion, or the “painted faces” if we prefer our “laws” over love for them.
There were 300 blessings if mankind kept the Mosaic Law. There were 300 curses if mankind failed the Law. Curses included severe punishment, even to captivity, destruction of cities, and death. The final curse was to obliterate mankind from the face of the planet. Men like Branham used examples of God’s justice for His Law as their platform. But they did not reinstate the 300 blessings for keeping the law – instead, they preached the 300 curses. Especially the “Day of the Lord,” which was the curse of death.
But God did NOT wipe mankind from the face of the earth. He loved us. He cared for us. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. He sent Christ to live the Law, to keep it, to fulfill it, and to lift it from us. He not only lifted the curse of the Law, but he lifted the Law itself, placing us under a New Covenant, an Eternal Covenant of Grace. He brought our faith back to the original faith of the fathers, by showing us that righteousness – love for God and our fellow man – does not come by Law. It comes by faith in Jesus Christ.
Whenever I speak to someone who has been trained to believe in this “god of wrath,” I realize that I am speaking to the same person that the Apostle Paul met in the temples of Baal. All they ever knew was the “god of wrath,” and the God of Israel must have seemed very much like their pagan gods. All they knew was Justice, and never knew the reason behind the punishment of the Jews.
But the Apostle Paul, showing them the Gospel of Jesus Christ, explained to them that it was because of THEM. God used the entire history of the Children of Israel as what Paul called a “tutor,” an example that God loves us. God cares for us. God wants us to love one another, live in peace, and be free from wrath.
This is the God of the Bible. This is the God I now serve. This is the God that has set my family free, given us peace, and lifted us from the curse that bound us for the last few decades of our lives.
If you don’t know this God, and you believe that the God of the Bible is a “god of wrath,” then I beg you to start reading in the Gospel of John. If you don’t know the God of Love, then you have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.