Throughout his recorded sermons, William Branham promoted himself and his ministry as the fulfillment of Luke 17:30. In several of the churches in the current following, you will find many references to this verse of scripture on printed material and sermons describing the man, William Branham.
While most Christians recognize the title, "Son of Man," as a reference to Christ, Branham taught that this title was for a coming prophet -- not the Messiah that came to deliver the world from sin. This coming prophet, according to William Branham, would be the future return of Elijah, which Branham claimed was described in Malachi 4. Branham taught that this "Elijah" would be more than a man: He would be God in human flesh.
Luke 17:30, when read in context, is describing the return of Christ:
"And he said to the disciples, The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. And they will say to you, 'Look, there!' or 'Look, here!' Do not go out or follow them. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all— so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, let the one who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away, and likewise let the one who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.' And they said to him, 'Where, Lord?' He said to them, 'Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.'
According to the belief system promoted by William Branham, this passage from Luke is describing the revealing of a prophet, one often described in parallel with himself. While Branham claimed the title "Son of Man" in the verse from Luke 17, the scriptures use this title over eighty times in the New Testament to apply to Jesus Christ. Often, Branham made comparisons between his healing ministry and the "divine healing ministry of Jesus Christ, " which Branham claimed to be the majority of Jesus' "ministry." At one point in time, Branham even pretended that God was speaking through his own lips, though a slip of the tongue made it evident that it was his own stuttering voice instead of the Voice of God:
I'm the Lord that raised up Christ from the grave.
The climax of this doctrine occurred towards the end of his life, less than a month before God removed Branham from his ministry. Having promoted himself as the fulfillment of Luke 17:30, as well as the return of Elijah, William Branham started to claim that this new "Elijah" was not a man -- he was God:
I'm the One that sent the Holy Ghost.
I'm the One that give the promise.
Brother Branham has nothing to do in this.
I have--He's surrendered his life to Me.
I'm using his Spirit;
I'm talking through his lips.
That's Me; I'm the Lord.
59-0410 Looking At the Unseen
Now, we've had Elijahs, and Elijahs' coats, and Elijahs' mantles, and Elijahs' everything. But the Elijah of this day is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to come according to Matthew the seventeen-... Luke 17:30, says the Son of man is to reveal Himself among His people. Not a man, God!
Read more: www.seekyethetruth.com/resources-bible-sonofman.aspx