Some might argue that regardless of his failed prophecy and fictional life stories, William Branham's objective was to bring the hearts and minds of the people back to the original faith of the fathers. He would often make statements describing "No creed but Christ; no law but love; no Book but the Bible," however when you examine his teaching of scripture we find subtle differences in context.
Rather than examining the entire chapter or book to read the scripture in context, Branham would often read one or two verses and claim to "build his context" upon those few words. Often, when you examine the subject matter of the sermon as compared to the subject matter in the chapter, the two seem to be in direct conflict. This can especially be found in the final sermons of his ministry, in sermons that seem to be promoting himself as our new "high priest."
Branham would often describe the punishment by God for adding to or taking away from scripture. The end of Revelation 22 is quoted often in the following of William Branham, describing ministers who twist the scriptures to fit their own agendas:
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
But when we examine scriptures that are most often quoted by William Branham, we find words added or removed. Entire verses are combined with scriptures from other books in the Bible to invent new bible verses that are repeated and memorized in the following of William Branham.
The three most obvious:
These three scriptures were the foundation for three fundamental teachings of William Branham, and while only a few words were added, removed, or changed, the entire meaning of scripture was changed by only minor alteration.
I will be with you -- even in you
William Branham promoted the Jehovah's Witness version of Jesus Christ, claiming that Jesus was just a man until his baptism. At baptism, Branham claimed that God poured Himself fully into Jesus to produce the "god-man," and that Jesus of the New Testament was Jehovah of the Old Testament. This teaching is modalism, which denies the triune nature of God, and was condemned as heresy by the early church.
Branham claimed that the original translation included three additional words: "even in you." These words, though not found in the King James Version that followers study, are still believed to be included in the original scrolls by most of the followers of William Branham. Many are shocked to find that there are no additional words in the original translation, and that this interpretation of scripture does not match the Word of God.
Only Eight Souls
William Branham planted the idea that he was sent to prepare a "little bride" for the return of Jesus Christ. According to Branham, all other Christians outside of his own following were the fulfillment of the "foolish virgins" in the parable given by Christ in Matthew 25. Branham's vision of the future included a world condemned for failure to listen to his ministry, and as "the final messenger," God would close the door to the Branhm's ark.
To promote this idea of "eight souls," William Branham combined two scriptures, from two books, with two different contextual meanings. The first, Matthew 24, is describing the sudden coming of Christ that will catch many unaware.
I will be with you even in you until the end of the world.
As it was in the days of Noah wherein eight souls were saved, so shall it be at the coming of the son of man
This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased to dwell in.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
The second comes from 1 Peter chapter 3. In this passage, Peter is describing God's patience and faithfulness. The entire world can be passing away, but if you are sheltered in the arms of God, you are under His protection. He will never leave you, never forsake you, and even if you are the last eight souls on the face of the planet, God is still faithful.
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
"But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." was combined with "wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water" to create the new bible verse William Branham promoted: "As it was in the days of Noah wherein eight souls were saved, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be."
Taking two scriptures from Psalms, William Branham blended them together to teach the idea that we were all born liars. Branham would often describe our "earthly tabernacles" as being "born in sin shaped, in iniquity, come to the world speaking LIES" While both portions of the combined scripture do come from verses in the Bible, these two scriptures are referring to two groups of people: The good and the evil.
Psalm 51:5 describes the fallen state of mankind, how we are born into a sinful state that requires the blood of a lamb for our forgiveness. It continues in the next verse describing God's faithfulness even in our fallen condition, and how we are to seek truth:
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
But according to scripture, it is not the righteous that are born liars. While the righteous seek truth, the evil speak lies:
The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
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