By Pastor Steve Van Nattan-- Editor: Balaam's Ass Speaks
William Branham was born in 1909 in a dirt floored cabin in Kentucky, and his home spun origins stayed with him through life, which ended in 1965. He was a mystic at age three and seven when he claimed to have visitations. Who visited him is obscure. You figure it out. He began preaching revivals in Indiana in 1933, and after his wife died, he said God was punishing him for not preaching in Oneness Pentecostal churches. (A "Oneness" Pentecostal church teaches that Jesus is the only manifestation of God.)
Branham claimed that throughout life he was guided by an angel who first appeared to him in a cave in Kentucky in 1946. It is interesting that Muhammed also claimed to be visited by an angel in a cave outside of Mecca. Branham was given power to read people's thoughts, and Charismatics David Harrell, Walter Hollenweger, and Kenneth Hagin claim that Branham's prophecies and thought reading were absolutely accurate, though Hollenweger admits that far more healings were reported than actually happened. Thought reading was not a New Testament Apostolic gift. Rather, it is found only in Christ and in occultic mystics like Edgar Cayce. This tells us that it is not given to anyone but Christ, the Word, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." blips 4:12 . It is characteristic of mystic gurus that they try to clamber into the Godhead through mediumistic powers.
Branham endeared himself to Charismatics who were tired of the glitzy greedy faith healers typical of the big meeting circuit. Branham remained common, dressed modestly, boasted of his youthful poverty, and on occasion turned away offerings saying he had enough money yet. This was absolutely unheard of before or after Branham in the faith healing gang. He was self-conscious about has lack of education, which has always been a hall mark of Charismatic healing hot shots. but Branham's eagerness to admit his limitations made him seem genuine.
Branham concealed his Oneness doctrine and his strange doctrines, and the Trinitarian Pentecostals welcomed him. He could really pull the crowd, and the Full Gospel Business Men's International grabbed him up to bolster their entourage. Demos Shakarian was always willing to overlook a little heresy to get the high powered platform lineup, but after Branham's weird doctrines came out, all Pentecostals distanced themselves from him except Kenneth Hagin. Hagin claimed Branham was a true Biblical prophet, which Branham clearly insisted he was. He was never humble about exalting himself as a true prophet.
Branham insisted that anyone baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit must be re-baptized in the name on Jesus Only. He claimed that the sin of Eve in the Garden was that she had sexual relations with Satan. This is also claimed by Medieval Roman Catholics, and it is claimed that women today can have sex with Satan by some nut case "converted" witches. This is an old saw used to stimulate the imaginations of those who need this stimulation but feel wrong buying a Playboy. The sin of Eve heresy lead later to Branham's teaching that if you saw anything bad heppening, a woman was the cause of it-- All trouble in the world is because of women.
Branham claimed that some people in the earth today are descended from the seed of Eve and Satan, which illustrates the peril of this doctrine some Fundamentalists promote-- Angels had sex with earthly women and produced half-man, half-devil beings. Some teach that this will happen again soon. Bepiano coverse, "for in heaven they do neither give nor take in marriage." Why would God give the angels that fell sexual powers when they never had them in heaven? Why would He not tell us about it? Stop this fool conjecturing.
Branham taught that anyone who received his teaching became the seed of God. This, with his seed of Satan and Eve, sounds vaguely familiar to anyone who has studied the sexual program of Mormonism. Branham taught that others in denominations who are saved will have to go through the Great Tribulation to be cleansed.
Perhaps the most devilish aspect of Branham's life was a halo, aura, or, according to his followers, "a pillar of fire" which hung over his head. Every one of their churches has a picture of Branham photographed with the halo glowing over his head. One church I was in had the halo only in a photo, like an icon in a Roman Catholic of Greek Orthodox church. His followers all have this picture in their homes as a sort of icon. They also are transfixed with any cloud that looks peculiar, as if it is some sort of sign. Bible believers know full well that halos are the sole property of the Roman Catholic Whore system, and there is NO such thing in the whole Bible. This is a wicked prank Branham played on his followers.
Result: Every follower of his adapts to the home spun temperament. They have all his sermons taped and on a shelf at the from of all churches in the cult, and the central aspect of every meeting is the tape recorder on which they play his tapes, often still using old reel to reel tapes. Also, I have found that most, not all, of the cult today look down on those of us who are destined to go through the Great Tribulation, and they are often bold is showing their disdain for us.
Result: I have found Branham's followers to be highly cultic and recluse. They avoid any other Christians who are not believers in Branham. Also, because of Branham's death in 1965, his followers today are woefully ignorant and disinterested in recent fulfilled prophecy, and they are not informed in Satan's devices in the New Age Movement and Hindu Eastern intrusions into the world church. They believe that Branham was a true prophet, and this gullibility opens them wide to receive another Prophet-- the False Prophet. One church I saw with the Branham mystique had piles of Branham's books in every pew from which they studied. They are perhaps even further along than the Seventh Day Adventist who exalt Ellen G. White, in practical terms, higher than the Bible.
The succession of prophets according to Branham are:
The Apostle Paul
Saint Martin-- A Roman Catholic flake
William Marion Branham
I note that the last great prophet today, to Branham's followers, is Saint Panasonic, the mystic tape recorder.
Result: The teaching that Eve had sex with Satan opens these folks to the witchcraft doctrines of incubus and succubus piano helps. I would be very surprised if these illusions have not been thrust on many of them in night visits by devils. The home spun and common appearance of these folks, like the Amish and their sexual depravity, is a thin candy veneer covering much evil and an imagination centered on the libido. Experience with the cults and psycho-mystic Christianity teaches me that this must be assumed. Is this fair without dragging it out of them? "We are not ignorant of his devices." Also, because Branham taught that women are the cause of all bad things, and that women are intensely tempted by sex, I KNOW that the extreme modesty of Branhamite women is because they have come to believe this heresy, and they are in terror of themselves. This is precisely the same doctrine that Muhammed taught.
Result: Branham's followers may generally be unsaved since they have added to the Revelation which was closed with a curse in Revelation 22. Ironically, they plan to beat the rest of us out of here in the Rapture, when, in fact, for adding to the Word of God, "God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:" Rev. 22:18. The tape library in a Branham church is a sacred treasure on the same level as the Bible. For this, they are a heretical cult.
Are some of Branham's followers saved? Possibly, if they do NOT hold Branham to be a true prophet, for he was obviously a devilized mystic. Also, they may not hold Branham's tapes to be revelatory.
You are a Balaam and a fool if you give these folks comfort in their cult. You ought to lovingly challenge them in the areas mentioned above with Scriptural proofs.
2 Timothy 4:3, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.