William Branham - The Non-Eternal Covenant of Grace:
I never will forget the first few months on the "outside" of the "Message" as I dove deeply into reading the New Testament again for the "first" time. Over, and over, and over I read it, each word fresh and new without being forced to read it "through" the voice of William Branham or his teaching. It is quite a different book, actually, when read in context just as it is written.
Like all Pentecostal-style mind-control cults, the central figure William Branham took several verses that are scattered throughout the book, built doctrines around them, and programmed them into the minds and hearts of the people. Some were taken so badly out of context that the doctrine built upon the sentence or phrase was opposite from the author's intent.
A collection of them were used as fear tactics. Ripping verses out of context, William Branham led his audience to believe that God would deny his Covenant made at Calvary should the people "sin too much." The weight of their salvation lay on the shoulders of the cult followers, decreasing the value of the Christian Gospel and effectively turning the Eternal Covenant of Grace into a worthless and limited covenant that a narcissistic "god" would cut off at any time.
We grew up hearing Branham's screaming voice saying things like, "A man, certainly, can sin away his day of grace. Do you believe it" (Branham, 51-0415E). The continual denial of the Covenant was drilled into our heads to the extent that many in the church lived in fear of "losing one's own salvation." Branham taught that the Old Covenant Law was still in effect, and that Jesus made the Law more powerful when he came to earth.
I never will forget the first time I read Hebrews 8:13 in context of the author's letter. "In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." (Heb 8:13). When first reading this passage, I did not fully grasp the power of the statement. Taught a strange mixture of certain rules within the Old Covenant Law and a (very limited) version of the New Covenant, I could not comprehend what was becoming obsolete and what had come into effect.
Reading passages like James 2:10, I began to realize that the Old Covenant Law had been replaced by something much greater, and that any who tried to uphold any portion of it were actually doing more harm to themselves. "For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it." (James 2:10)
And I began to realize that it was far better a Covenant, because it was not based on things that we did -- it was based on what He did for us.
But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
When people begin the process of deprogramming from the mind control of the "Message," many become filled with sadness of what they have lost. Often friends and family shun them, and their life was filled with man-made rules forbidding them to live normal lives. Not only are they burdened from what they list, they are pained by what they never had. But it did not take very long for me to realize that these things pale in comparison to what was actually taken away. By programming his followers to believe that God's Eternal Covenant of Grace had limits, and that the burden of salvation rested upon the shoulders of the people, Branham had effectively stolen God's Eternal Covenant of Grace from the people.
But we must not look backwards to what we lost, we must look forward to what we gained. And we must not think of the childhoods this mind control cult stole from us, we must think of the futures our children will now have. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBjCoc0gweI