Step 5: Back to the Bible
When you finally start to realize that the bible you've been taught is not quite similar to the Bible that you hold in your hands, it's time to get back to the basics. The only way to determine how much of Branham's teachings were scriptural and how many were inventions of the minds false teachers is to examine the Book itself — start to finish.
There's just one problem: Many in the following of William Branham
are unfamiliar with reading their Bibles. They've been trained to focus on single sentences twisted into entire doctrines without reading the scripture in its context. They have forgotten the real Word of God.
Branham vs. The Bible
There are hundreds of doctrines, statements, and general concepts or principles that Branham promoted throughout his ministry that do not align with the Bible. As you study, you will find many scriptures twisted out of context to promote leadership, separation from other churches, and works-righteous faith. Here are a few to get you started.
There is one thing that you will not find taught in the churches of William Branham, and it is a fundamental element of Christianity: The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
William Branham claimed that he was commissioned by God to spread the "gospel of divine healing" to the nations, and Branham claimed that his version of law was required to establish "rapturing faith."
But the two are not the same. While Branham claimed that Christ come to make the Law greater, and that Christians must honor portions of the Mosaic Law, the Apostle Paul tells us that the Old Covenant was made obsolete by the New Eternal Covenant of Grace. According to Paul, any other gospel brings a curse.
The Achievement Of The Holy Spirit
William Branham promoted the idea that the Holy Spirit was not a Gift given to the people, but rather, an achievement that was earned through an ascetic lifestyle. And it was of lesser importance than faith in the messenger, according to Branham. In the theology surrounding the Gift of the Holy Spirit, Branham claimed that you can "have the Holy Spirit every single day of your life and still be lost and go to hell." Rather than a Gift given as a Helper and a Guide, Branham claimed that this Spirit could be "grieved away" if we did not adhere to his teaching. Is this the same Holy Spirit that the Bible speaks about? Or is this a different spirit?
Divorce Your Wives?
William Branham claimed that God spoke through him, giving him the instruction to command men to divorce their wives if they cut their hair. While the long hair of women was common in the Pentecostal movement, the idea that Branham would receive Word from the Lord that contradicted the words of Jesus Christ would have been considered controversial even among his peers. But was this message truly from God?
Pretending To Be God
Branham took specific scriptures from the Bible, twisted them away from pointing to Jesus Christ, and refocused them upon himself. Titles like "Son of Man" are applied to Branham or his ministry through tangled scriptures, and even the title "Lamb" is applied after he proclaimed to have opened the "seven seals."
After promoting himself as the "Elijah" for this day, Branham claimed that the "Elijah of this day is the Lord Jesus Christ," "not a man, God."
King James Only?
One of the myths that has arisen after the death of William Marrion Branham is that the King James Version is the only accurate version of the Bible, and that William Branham himself only supported the KJV. Branham studied the works of several men, including Jehovah's Witness founder Charles Taze Russell, Zion City founder John Alexander Dowie, and more. In fact, an alternate version of the Bible was promoted throughout his ministry.
William Branham promoted an idea found in Charles Taze Russell's "Jehovah of the Watchtower" concerning the idea of a temporary punishment — one of the ideas from Russell's "cardinal doctrines of the Bible" that caused many to label him as a heretic. According to Russell, scriptures describing an "everlasting" or "eternal" hell were incorrect, and he challenged orthodox Christianity. Does this teaching match scripture?
The Evening Light
There were many titles William Branham chose from scripture to apply to himself and his ministry, indexes from verses in prophetic scripture that Branham taught was being fulfilled before the eyes of his congregation. One of those verses applied as a title is Zechariah 14:7: