Pentecostal-Style Mind Control Cult Law vs Grace:
During the course of the past week, I've had several conversations with ex-"Message"-cult members who recently made their exit from Branham's religious cult as well as current members who were internally struggling due to their discovering huge discrepancies within the "Message of the Hour."
As with any Pentecostal-style religious cult, they've been indoctrinated with an oppressive set of extra-biblical rules that they must conform to. And since the central figure died in 1965, and new "figures" are wrestling with doctrine to take their place as the "leader" of the "Message, the rules imposed upon them differ from member to member across the world.
We receive the common Pentecostal rule questions such as, "Now that I'm no longer in the 'Message,' what if I see a woman sitting next to me in Pants?" To which we often reply, "What did Jesus' disciples say when they saw Jesus sitting next to a prostitute?" Some are asking things like, "Can we now celebrate Christmas?" or "What about Easter?" "Halloween?"
Mind control cults -- especially Pentecostal-style mind control cults -- impose a strict set of rules upon their followers. With no physical walls between them and the outside world, they must create invisible walls of cult identity between the "inside" of the group and the "outside." And as time continues, these rules grow and become even more oppressive.
For example: The current cult preaches very harshly against women who wear skirts that are above the ankles. And any women who wear skirts above their knees are condemned as "prostitutes." Even on the cult's camp website, they do not permit girls to wear skirts above the knees: https://stillwaterscamp.org/faq
But, as you can see in the attached photograph, Branham himself did not enforce rules to this level. His daughters often wore skirts above the knees, and Branham proudly had his photograph taken with them in their "prostitute dresses." Are today's pastors (and apparently Branham's sons) insulting William Branham's daughters?
Pentecostal-style mind control cults are a religion of "don'ts." Often sermons are centered around the ideology of, "If you DON'T do ______, you can be righteous enough to make it in the 'rapture.'" It truly is a different "gospel."
Christianity (followers of Christ) is quite different from the "Message" (followers of Branham). It is not a religion about what YOU can do, it is a religion about what CHRIST has already done. And it takes some time to deprogram the indoctrinated cult identity that centers around the many ways to "earn" your salvation in order to bypass the Cross.
Many who were taught William Branham's "gospel" of Law, struggle at first when leaving his cult. Immediately, trying to fill an empty void, they begin to seek out similar religions based upon Law instead of Grace -- often finding themselves right back into another unhealthy church. Using the "loaded language" they've been programmed to speak, they say things like, "We want a church that preaches the Gospel that the Apostles preached!" And what they are really saying -- without the loaded language -- is that they want another church that enforces the Law.
But does the Bible support the idea of uplifting the Mosaic Law?
It is interesting when you read the New Testament as it is written, and without cult indoctrination, you will find that the Apostles were dealing with a similar situation as they tried to explain to the Jews that the Mosaic Law did not have the power to save. It was powerless, and to try and uplift the Law, one must decrease the Cross and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only did the Apostle Paul thoroughly explain that a works-righteous faith was very damaging to the Church, he called it "dung." One programmed in the mind control cult called the "Message" would be shocked by this statement, because the Apostle Paul was using a word that in today's world we would call a "cussword" to describe the failed Mosaic Law. Compared to the power of the Cross, the rules-and-regulations-based religion was worthless.
Paul called the Law "dung":
Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
- Philippians 3
And the book of Hebrews tells us that the Old Covenant Law was vanishing away, to be replaced with the New Covenant of Grace.
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
- Hebrews 8
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
- Hebrews 8
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul tells us the Gospel of Grace, not of works of the Law. And purposefully so -- according to this passage, God did not want any person to boast in themselves; God wants Christians to boast in the Work that Christ came to do:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
But William Branham taught a "Message" of works, and a "gospel" that Christ made the Law stronger, not replaced it with a new covenant:
We went back in Deuteronomy and showed that a illegitimate child, bastard child, could not even enter the congregation of the Lord for fourteen generations. That was under the law, and Christ come to magnify the law. How much more is it now?
Branham, 58-0928E - The Serpent's Seed
What is interesting is that Branham was less than fourteen generations bastard child, according to his genealogy. While Branham was uttering statements of condemnation against his indoctrinated followers, he was in effect uttering statements of condemnation against himself.
This raises the question: Did William Branham really believe the "law" that he taught? Did he believe that the "magnified" Mosaic Law condemned him as a "bastard child?" https://www.facebook.com/SeekYeTheTruth/photos/a.281312795303458.48697.214739791960759/689810521120348/?type=3