It's self-evident to most of us: we can have the best intentions in the world, but that does not excuse bad behavior. William Branham confirmed this universal truth repeatedly in his recorded sermons in a variety of different applications:
--No matter what the intention, a church not centered upon God's Word and His program is in the wrong:
But in the Word I find that God did not intend for the church to be governed by intellectual or by any theology of man, but the Holy Spirit was given to the Church to govern and control the body of Christ. And I think in doing that, with that in mind and in God's program, we will never be successfully, no matter how good our intentions are, until we get back into the center of God's program where the Holy Spiritâ€¦
57-0113 - What Does It Take To Make A Christian Life?
--"The road to hell is paved with good intentions", so even if you intend to do right and abstain from sin, failure is still failure:
You think of what you've done. Look at the evil. Look how you've put off Christ. You've intended to be a real Christian. You've intended to be filled with the Holy Ghost. You've intended someday, but your intention will never get you there. Hell's paved with good intentions.
59-0814 - As I Thought On My Ways
Notice how that God's warns, "Don't lie." Then every New Year you'll sign a pledge, "I'll not do it any more." Oh, you got good intentions. Certainly. hell's paved with that, with good intentions. You don't think thatâ€¦ You think that's the way to do it, just presume that that's the way you should do it. Every New Year just say, "Well, I'm going to make my New Year vows. I'll write them all out." And before two days is up, you done broke half of them. See, you can't do it.
62-0713 - From That Time
David's good intentions did not earn him any merits with God:
God is sovereign. And we see here what David done, in the Scripture reading of First Chronicles 13. And he wasâ€¦ His intentions were good. But God does not give us merits on good intentions. There is only one way to serve God, that's by doing His will at His command. And God, being sovereign, there is no one to tell Him what to do or how to do it. He does it the way, He knows the right way to do it.
65-0718M - Trying To Do God A Service Without Being The Will Of God
Even murderers can have good intentions:
Do you think, you say, "Well, I intendedâ€¦ I didn't mean to be bad." Oswald might say the same thing. If the justice of our Supreme Court will call for justice, it'll call. It'sâ€”it's ourâ€¦ It's the absolute of the nation. The whole nation is tied to that Supreme Court, and there can be nothing left. He's committed the crime. He has to pay for it. No matter how much he didn't mean, how his intentions was, or nothing about it; he is going to pay for it, anyhow.
63-1124M - What Shall I Do With Jesus Called Christ?
However, as much as WMB condemned even the very souls of men and women because of their inability to live 100% according to the standards he taught, there are several alarming examples of a double standard:
Even if WMB teaches incorrectly, for HIM, it is about right intentions and not actions:
But I hope that God will interpret to you the meaning in my heart. See? If my words are not right; my intentions, Iâ€”I trust, are.
65-0123 - Broken Cisterns
Rev. William Marrion Branham
When the prophesy failed, WMB urges us to ignore his failure as a prophet, and instead learn a valuable lesson about â€œbad influenceâ€. His failure to follow the Lord is totally forgiven, and used as a cautionary tale:
And whenâ€¦ I had been very much constrained to go toâ€”to India. And yet, as many of you might know, the Indian trip wasn't the success that it should've been, because I failed to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and never recognized it after He give me a vision to go to Africa first and then to India. 31 Andâ€”and some of the brethren said, "Oh, justâ€¦ We can't get Africa together, soâ€¦ Brother Roberts has just been down there, so take off to India." And under the influence of my brethren, well maybe taughtâ€¦ But no matter what someone influences you, if God has told you something differentâ€¦ And now, judge it by the Word (See?), by the Word, and then go.
57-0126B - India Trip Report
Rev. William Marrion Branham
When Martin Luther preached error, because of his position as a church age messenger, all is forgiven him, the error overlooked, his â€œfailure in judgmentâ€ seen as a foolhardy mistake, and his good intentions are praised above his actions:
But for all that, God used Martin Luther. Let it not be said that his intentions were wrong. Let it only be said that his judgment failed. Truly if the Lutherans could get back to his teaching and serve God as this gracious brother served Him, then that people would surely be a credit and praise to the great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
An Exposition Of The Seven Church Ages - Chapter Seven - The Sardisean Church Age
So, which matters the most?
If youâ€™re a denominational church, a denominational minister, a layperson, or even King David from the Bible, it is your actions that matter the most, regardless of your intentions.
But, if you happen to be William Branham, or you happen to be one of the men he picked to be â€œGodâ€™s voice to the peopleâ€ in one of the â€œchurch agesâ€, all that matters is your intentions, and every mistake or failure can be overlooked.
So what does this mean for those in the message now? It means that â€œas long as you believe the messenger of your dayâ€ and are â€œwalking in the light of your dayâ€, your actions essentially do not matter. Sure, there is a â€œstandardâ€ of behavior, and those that fail the standard, even if they are message believers will receive some degree of judgment and scorn; but there is grace for those that declare William Branham a prophet.
But for those of us that walk away, there is no more grace, and only judgment. For the denominational churches, any failure is seen as vindication of their bad standing with God, and any person outside of the message with struggles is reprobate, and never had a genuine walk with the Lord to begin with.
The double standard is poisonous, simultaneously excusing the failures of some and condemning the efforts of others. It all comes down to a question of intentionsâ€”do our intentions matter? Do our actions matter? What is the balance? These are the kinds of questions that are essential for Christians to ponder and come to an understanding about from the Word. There is no double standard in Godâ€™s eyes, and we must be willing to accept the Truth. Unfortunately, when clinging onto the false teachings of William Branham, this subject becomes impossible to navigate.
Here's an article on the subject from a Biblical perspective:http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-god-is-looking-at-your-heart-106033/