Paul taught Timothy how to present the Truth. We aim to present this study with that same attitude.
2 Timothy 2:24
And the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient
We should always welcome criticism that is directed against what we believe. This forces us to think for ourselves more clearly and enables us to get rid of the errors in our beliefs.
A government pays an opposition to disagree and point out their mistakes and provide an alternative opinion.
Why are churches so scared of an opposing opinion?
It can only be because of insecurity.
If we do not actually know how to prove our doctrines from Scripture then we do not want to hear them being questioned.
So it is good that some people question whether William Branham is a prophet or not. We need to think carefully on this issue.
The main objection to William Branham’s ministry is that he made mistakes at certain times. Critics have proved that certain statements he made or certain actions that he did were wrong.
Is it thus justified that the critics must then label him a non-prophet or a false prophet as a result of these numerous errors?
The critics are in effect claiming that a prophet has to be perfect and infallible before we can trust him on any matter.
Is this the correct way to judge a prophet’s ministry?
Let us see what the Bible says.
Behold, he [God] putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight.
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
These Scriptures make it very clear that no-one (except Jesus) is perfect.
So how did God deal with the mistakes that His prophets made in the past?
God judged them by what they did right, when they fulfilled the Scriptural role that God needed them for, while they were annointed of God. God chose the positive that they did rather than condemning them for what they did wrong when they erred as human beings when the annointing was off them. But they paid a price for their mistakes.
Prophets are a rare breed. Scripture writes about them and they must fulfill those Scriptures. They have no option but to do what God requires of them. God drives them to do His will even if they would rather run away from what God wants of them (think of Jonah). That inescapable burden that is thrust onto them by God subjects them to unique pressures and extreme opposition from humans and the Devil. Thus they may stumble in some aspects of their lives but all these human frailties will not stop them from doing what God wants them to do. What they had to do for God gives guidance to the believers of their day.
The benefits gained from a prophet’s Scriptural ministry by all the true believers who are thus able to move out of their various errors into God’s Perfect Will becomes the basis for God judging the success of the prophet’s ministry. The mistakes made by the prophet are small in comparison to all the believers’ mistakes that he was able to correct. Thus God prefers to credit him for the much good he did rather than condemn him for the far less harm that he did.
God only trusts what He does Himself. So God’s Spirit annoints a prophet and drives the prophet to fulfill the Scripture that applies to the prophet. God is thus pleased as this is His own work, not the prophet’s. For the rest of the prophet’s life, when God’s annointing is not driving him and his human spirit is making decisions to the best of his abilities, then God is not at all surprised that the prophet makes mistakes. But there is a penalty to pay for the mistakes.
O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Wheat grains have to be beaten out of the chaff that surrounds each grain. It is a messy affair that takes a lot of work. So true believers are expected to do the hard work of separating the truth revealed by the prophet from all the errors that inevitably accompany human endeavours.
Multiple thousands are killed on our roads by cars every year, but despite all those disasters due to human error we still continue to drive cars.
We do not reject cars because they are accompanied by human error.
Cars do more good than harm, that is why we continue to use them.
Let us look at some very well known “perfect” prophets :
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
:9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
Moses hit the Rock (which was Christ) twice instead of once. That got him into real trouble with God and God punished him by not letting him go into the promised land.
Sure, he disobeyed God but why such a harsh penalty?
We will need a deeper insight if we are to explain points like that.
Who will teach us these insights?
I CORINTHIANS 10:4
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
So God, not man, punished Moses for what he did wrong.
But did that serious mistake disqualify Moses from being a great prophet?
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face
This was God’s final very complimentary opinion of Moses just before Moses died. God gave him credit for what he did right rather than denouncing him for what he did wrong.
Each prophet has a certain job to do for God as God’s great spiritual plan for humanity unfolds like a silver thread that runs through human history.
So a prophet straddles two realms. He lives in this present physical world with his own self-will like the rest of us, and makes mistakes, like the rest of us.
He also has a special gift whereby he contacts God’s deeper spiritual realm by means of visions and angels and the supernatural. God tells him what to do and then uses him to speak to the people and extend the silver thread of God’s perfect will whereby God controls and directs His true believers. That portion of the prophet’s ministry is strictly Scriptural as God is in control of him for those instances.
When the small local and personal will of a believer manages to overlap into the hidden current of God’s perfect will, then that onrushing invisible spiritual current drags that believer along the path that God wants him or her to go.
And that is what God judges both the prophet and the believer on.
Did the prophet do and say what God said he must say and do?
Did the believer listen to the Scripture in what the prophet said and then move on in that direction?
The prophet’s failures in other local human matters are obviously a problem that will cause repercussions but these human errors cannot undo the correct things that he did for God’s great and invisible program which operates unseen in the spiritual realm of God’s perfect will, which is God’s Big Picture.
Elijah, one man, very bravely stood up against 450 prophets of Baal and then pulled down fire from the sky to burn up his sacrifice. He then had the 450 false prophets killed. This was amazing spiritual power and took a lot of courage.
Then, in fear, he ran away as fast as he could from a woman, Jezebel. That was not heroic.
I KINGS 18:36
And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
So Elijah had fulfilled God’s Word. He had done what God told him to do. That was part of God’s Big Picture as it unfolded. That was Elijah’s real ministry when the annointing was on him.
:37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
:38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
:40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
Elijah was the man-of-the-match for that great event. He had proved that Baal was a false god and eliminated 450 men who spread Baal’s false beliefs. This had forced the Jews to acknowledge that Jehovah was the true God. God’s Big Picture was on track. Elijah’s job was to turn the Israelites from paganism to Truth. A prophet, great man that he is, is simply a servant that God uses to guide the sinful people back to God. This fiery showdown sent shockwaves through all Israel and thus faith in God was restored. Elijah had successfully done God’s work.
Then things suddenly changed. There was a backlash from queen Jezebel.
I KINGS 19:2
Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
:3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
Elijah “went for his life” which means he ran away fast, very fast.
Suddenly his bravery deserted him.
The annointing was no longer on him. He reacted as a man. However, this was just a side issue that did not affect God’s Big Picture which had already been accomplished. So Jezebel’s threat caused Elijah to make a hasty choice between his human options, fight or flight, and he decided on flight. But this only affected the small picture of his personal life. The fiery showdown with the prophets of Baal had convinced the Jews that Jehovah was mightier than Baal. Nothing could change that perception, which was God’s Big Picture.
By deciding to flee, Elijah allowed his critics to label him as a coward.
That decision was part of Elijah’s small picture that involved his personal life as a man living in the complex under-currents of this world. His choice was made as a fallible man, not as the infallible God’s servant who was doing what God told him to do.
Fallible men make mistakes. Many people would classify him as a coward.
Did that act of cowardice stop God regarding him as a brave prophet? Let us see.
John the Baptist, an exceptional prophet, was compared to Elias (the Greek spelling of Elijah) by an angel. John had to be extremely brave. He opposed all the leaders of the Jewish people as well as king Herod. Basically he took on all Israel which required real courage as the Jews were a tough bunch.
But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias
So the angel compared John to the spirit of bravery that was in Elijah when he demonstrated the power of God against 450 false prophets.
No mention is made here of Elijah running for his life from one woman. God only remembered Elijah’s brave stand, not his moment of weakness.
In Egypt, Joseph tried to persuade his brothers not to tell Pharaoh that they were shepherds. Shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. So Joseph wanted his brothers to tell a lie.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father’s house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me
And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation?
:34 That ye shall say, Thy servants’ trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
So the prophet Joseph was the bad boy, encouraging his brothers to lie by not saying that they were shepherds.
His brothers, who were not prophets, were the good guys who told the truth about themselves.
And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers.
So when a prophet gives advice based on his personal opinion he can be dangerous. Prophets should not give personal opinions. But being human, they tend to do so. But a prophet’s opinion or prediction has no more value than anybody else’s opinion or prediction. You believe his opinion at your own peril.
How did God then refer to Joseph? As a failed prophet who became a liar?
Not at all. God gave Joseph a revelation about the future resurrection in Palestine where the Old Testament saints were to rise after the resurrection of Jesus.
God also revealed to Joseph that one day the Jews would leave Egypt.
Joseph wanted to be there in Palestine in order to be a part of that future resurrection so he told the Jews that when they left Egypt they must take his bones with them and thus bury his bones in Palestine.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
:25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
Look what later happened after the crucifiction at Calvary :
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
52: And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The Old Testament saints were resurrected up. Joseph’s prophecy was vindicated.
Once again God was respecting and looking after his prophet because of the great things that he had done for God. The fact that Joseph could still prophesy of the future and take part in that prophesied resurrection meant that his lie had not disqualified him from being a prophet.
God promised Abraham, aged 100 years, a son in his old age and Abraham fell down laughing at this absurd impossibility as he did not believe God’s promise was even remotely possible.
And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.
:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
:17 Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?
And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
Abraham does not believe God’s Word (which is a major sin) and tries to help God out by accepting Ishmael as God’s promised son to him.
Abraham offering God advice!
That is so wrong as he was putting his human ideas above God’s Word. This is Nicolaitanism – the elevation of man’s words above Scripture.
Abraham’s biggest mistake was being unfaithful to Sarah and having a son through Hagar, her servant. Now he is offering Ishmael, the fruit of this big mistake, to God as if he is doing God a favour.
Nicolaitanism is preachers being wrongly elevated above the people and then offering their human opinions in the place of God’s written Word. What Abraham was suggesting to God was that by accepting Ishmael as the promised son, the Arabs would be the chosen nation of God, not the Jews.
Instead of repenting over his error with Hagar, Abraham was trying to prove that his legalised adultery was actually helping God’s plan by producing a son, and then leaving God with the impossible task of producing the Messiah from a nation that would be addicted to Islam.
Abraham was seriously messing up God’s plan.
He paid a price for Ishmael. Hagar despised the barren Sarah. And to this day the descendants of Ishmael (the Arabs) still hate and try to destroy the descendants of Isaac (the Jews).
So did God write him off as an unbeliever in God’s Word, and worse still as the person who was suggesting that the whole line of Messiah be cut off. If Abraham’s personal opinion had been accepted, the Devil would have defeated God’s plan in one stroke.
Jesus could never come through Ishmael’s line. Ishmael was the product of legalised adultery because of Sarah giving him permission to go with her servant Hagar.
Sarah, acting as a woman preacher with her bright ideas on how they should serve God, thus produced the Arab race. All our endless Middle East conflicts, the turbulent oil prices, the devastation of Libya due to Muslim extremism, as well as the intense hatred of the Arabs against the Jews, are some of the fruits of her preaching.
Her thinking produced Ishmael and the Arabs who are the fanatical enemies of the Jews who are the descendents of Sarah’s true son Isaac.
And yet here was Abraham wanting to compound his mistake of committing legalised adultery with Hagar by getting God to accept Ishmael as his promised son. The promised son coming through adultery? Can it get any worse?
Abraham was piling up his mistakes. God had never promised Ishmael to Abraham. Ishmael was the product of Sarah’s wrong thinking and then Abraham’s bigger mistake of listening to his wife’s religious advice on how to fulfill God’s plan by Abraham having his promised son through legalised adultery with Hagar. Sarah thus qualified as a woman preacher. So Abraham basically listened to a woman preacher and then offered her solution to God.
Abraham is now deep in error and way off the mark.
Similarly, Adam had listened to his wife’s religious advice on how to obey God by producing children through sex. We all live with the repercussions of that wrong advice.
So when a prophet gives his personal opinion it can obviously be completely wrong. Abraham had really tangled up the lines of error.
Did this disqualify him as a prophet?
And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do
In this very next chapter God again treats Abraham as a prophet by refusing to hide His future plans from Abraham. That is what prophecy is all about : knowing what God is going to do next.
Despite doubting God about the birth of Isaac and his major mistake over Ishmael being his promised son (who could never have produced Messiah), and not forgetting that he had told Sarah not to say that she was his wife, which was a lie: Abraham remained a prophet.
If another man had taken Sarah as his wife, the line of Messiah would have been wrecked. Abraham was on the brink of destroying God’s carefully crafted plan. Abraham lied and handed Sarah over to another man in order to save his own life.
If you want to find fault in a prophet then Abraham can really be ripped apart.
And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the south country, and dwelled between Kadesh and Shur, and sojourned in Gerar.
:2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah
Then Abimelech wanted to know why Abraham had not told him the truth that Sarah was his wife.
And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing?
:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.
So, after all, we find that prophets can be human. They can have the same fears and faults as the rest of us. They can also mess up.
Now comes the moment of truth.
How does Saint Paul judge Abraham when he writes about Abraham in the New Testament?
Abraham had done a lot of good, but he had also messed up badly. Handing his wife over to another man in order to save his own skin is very unacceptable behaviour from any man. Especially when that action could wreck the righteous line of believers that was to produce Messiah.
Paul however pays an incredible compliment to Abraham’s faith and says not one word about his serious mistakes. And Abraham’s mistakes were serious because he twice lied about Sarah not being his wife.
But in the New Testament God had wiped Abraham’s record clean.
Therefore it [the promise] is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
According to Saint Paul, Abraham was a model of faith.
God put Abraham on earth to get us to believe in the resurrection. He got Isaac from his “dead” body at 100 years old and he so believed in the resurrection from the dead that when God told him to kill Isaac he was happy to obey because he knew God would raise Isaac from the dead.
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
:4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
:5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.
Abraham knew he had to kill Isaac. Yet he promised his servants that he and Isaac would both return. So on mount Moriah, where the Temple was to be built by Solomon, Abraham prepared to kill his son ( symbolic of the Son of God ).
Through it all, Abraham was totally convinced that the dead Isaac would be raised back to life.
He had passed the toughest test any father could be called upon to do. Kill your beloved son and see if God will resurrect him from the dead.
So Abraham was the anchor man in the development of the doctrine of the resurrection of the real Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As he prepared to kill Isaac, God intervened.
And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
Behind the Temple site on Mount Moriah is Mount Calvary. On Mount Calvary was a helpless ram, held by its sharp horns. This represented a helpless Jesus with sharp nails holding Him fast to the cross. This Son of God would die as the ram did as a sacrifice in place of Isaac (who represented humanity) but Jesus would also be resurrected on the third day.
So Abraham established the resurrection doctrine of the Son by believing that One would come Who would die and rise again.
And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
Abraham also established that there is one God.
He did not say God will provide a lamb for Himself.
He said God would provide Himself.
God Himself would be the Lamb.
Abraham blazed a trail of believing in the resurrection and believing that God Himself would be the sacrificial Lamb. Abraham had produced the promised son Isaac.
This was all part of God’s Big Picture and Abraham had done it well. So Saint Paul gave him a 100 % rating.
What about Abraham’s many faults. I mean, he lied. According to Saint Paul Abraham had done what God sent him to do, so all of his mistakes, and they were many and dangerous errors, were simply classified as personal failures which are only part of his little personal picture. God punished him by the enmity that Ishmael had for Isaac. There was no peace in the family. He paid for his mistakes.
Abraham’s mistakes do not establish a foundation for us to find God, so ignore them in the bigger picture. But his faith in the resurrection is an inspiration to us all because we are all heading towards the grave and we need to believe in the resurrection as strongly as Abraham did in order to get out of the grave.
What he did for God’s Perfect Will is remembered. Not his many faults which were due to his personal failures.
So we learn an interesting lesson. Only what you do in terms of God’s Perfect Will will be regarded as important. In our day this means being restored back to the New Testament church of the first church age.
The Bible did not hide Abraham’s faults.
You are at liberty to point out any mistakes that William Branham made. There is no harm in that.
But when you use those mistakes to disqualify him as a prophet, then you are being very unscriptural because that is not how God judges a prophet.
You must first search the Bible to see what was prophesied of the end-time Elijah, and if William Branham fulfilled those prophecies then he is the end time prophet, despite any errors that he made in other areas.
Maybe he lied when telling his life story.
Abraham told the king a little of his life story by saying that Sarah was his sister (which was true, she was his half-sister) but he lied by not saying he was married to her when he knew the king wanted to marry Sarah, and would not have done that if he knew that she was a married woman.
So even in this very brief portion of his life story Abraham managed to lie. So prophets do lie. An uncomfortable fact that we must learn to live with. God never sent a prophet to tell us his life story. So to focus on his life story is to miss the reason why he came.
If you think Abraham was disqualified from being a prophet, then your thinking is wrong. If you think that prophets are perfect, then your thinking is wrong, because only God is perfect.
Abraham’s son Isaac made the same error as Abraham.
Isaac told the same lie about Rebekah not being his wife.
And Isaac dwelt in Gerar:
:7 And the men of the place asked him of his wife; and he said, She is my sister: for he feared to say, She is my wife; lest, said he, the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah; because she was fair to look upon.
So Isaac also messed up badly. Very cowardly. Puts his wife into a possible relationship of adultery to save his own skin. This is a disaster.
We will see what God says about Isaac when God reveals Himself to Moses.
Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
We know what Isaac did wrong.
But what had Isaac done right to deserve such praise?
God had promised a son to Abraham and Sarah and as such Isaac was the promised son.
Thus he represented the promised Son of God, the Messiah.
Did he carry out this assignment properly?
As a young boy, emphasizing the sonship, he was willing to die on Abraham’s altar on Mount Moriah.
He was a perfect type of the Son of God who was to be sacrificed on Calvary.
And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
Isaac carried the wood up the mountain.
Jesus carried the cross up Mount Calvary.
:7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
:9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
There is no mention of a struggle. This move took Isaac totally by surprise. Suddenly, in shock, Isaac discovers that he has to die.
Does he object? No. He is completely obedient to his father’s will and is prepared to die if his father demands that sacrifice.
And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus wants to get away from the horror of carrying all our awful sins.
He is the sacrificial Lamb that must carry our sins. But the shock of taking on our horrible sins repels Him. And He cries out for some way to escape that awful, slimy and ghastly burden.
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.
But then He submits to His Father’s will and without fighting or struggling, He is prepared to die because God’s perfect will demands His Blood as the atonement for our sin. There is no further protest.
This is the ultimate surrender of the flesh (the Son) to the will of His indwelling Spirit (the Father).
:10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
An innocent son sees the horror of death in that upraised knife and yet he offers no word of protest. Talk about being submissive to his father’s will. Isaac, the son, comes out of this fiery test with a 100 % rating.
Isaac’s legacy to all future generations is “be obedient unto death”.
No test is liable to get tougher than Isaac’s.
What a star he was.
Oh yes, he did do wrong when he lied. But do you really think that disqualifies him?
Then Jacob lied and deceived his father Isaac to rob his older brother Esau of his birthright blessing.
When Isaac was old his eyesight failed. He called in Esau to hunt for some meat so that Isaac could bless him with his birthright as the first born. But Rebekah and Jacob had a scheme to cheat Esau and deceive Isaac. Rebekah covered Jacob’s hands and neck with animal skins because Esau was very hairy. Then she quickly cooked some meat for Jacob to take to Isaac. Jacob was to pretend that he was Esau and thus, by this lie, obtain the birthright.
And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
:15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son:
:16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
:17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
:18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
:19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me.
:20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the LORD thy God brought it to me.
:21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not.
:22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.
:23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau’s hands: so he blessed him.
:24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am.
This was a cold-blooded deliberate lie for personal gain. Blatant fraud.
Cheating his brother who must suffer loss. Deceiving an old semi-blind father. This really sinks low.
This is far worse than changing a date on a birth certificate.
Surely this must disqualify Jacob from being a prophet?
Yet later on, towards the end of his life, Jacob gave this beautiful prophecy about the future Messiah coming from the line of Judah.
The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
This was fulfilled when Jesus was born in Bethlehem which was in the land of Judah.
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
So these great men Abraham, Isaac and especially Jacob told lies.
How did God speak about them to later generations?
This is how God introduced Himself to the great prophet Moses.
Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
Jesus also spoke of these three great men.
But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,
:32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
These three men made mistakes but it did not detract from their importance in the perfect plan of God, which is ultimately all that really counts.
Jacob lied to his father and it seemed that he got away with it. But in later years his children lied to him and told him that his favourite son Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. For years he was tormented by grief until he finally met Joseph in Egypt.
So he paid a harsh price for his lies, but he remained a prophet.
Lesson 1: If a prophet has done what God sent him to do then he is a success in God’s eyes because God is mainly concerned with His Big Picture which is God’s perfect will.
If you dismiss a prophet because he told a lie or gave a wrong personal opinion or made some other mistake, then you are not thinking like God thinks.
That simply means you are out of God’s will, and that is not a safe place to be.
Babylon conquered Judah around 588 BC and took the Jews captive. Only the very poor remained in Judah. God told them through the prophet Jeremiah to stay in Judah and not to go down to Egypt.
pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.
:11 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.
:13 But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the LORD your God,
:14 Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell:
The LORD hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah; Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day.
So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.
:5 But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah;
:6 Even men, and women, and children, and the king’s daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah.
:7 So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.
Jeremiah went down to Egypt when God told him not to go there.
Yet Jeremiah was a great prophet.
Having told the remnant not to go to Egypt, Jeremiah then accompanies them down to Egypt. This is not where God wanted him or the remnant.
Thus when the Bible tells us part of the life story of Jeremiah, it is a blemished record because it reveals that he went out of the will of the Lord.
Lesson 2: Do not take a prophet’s life story too seriously as it can be seriously flawed.
Despite disobeying God’s instructions, Jeremiah still remains a prophet.
Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life.
This was a very accurate prophecy.
If you are interested in a very flawed life story, try the prophet Jonah.
He runs away from God, is forced back to Nineveh against his own will, and then gets angry about what God does when God saves Nineveh. He argues with God.
You can’t get much more out of tune with God than what Jonah was.
Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
:2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
:3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.
So Jonah sets off in the opposite direction.
Now look what happens after God got Jonah to reach Nineveh and preach to the heathen there.
And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.
Here Jonah is angry with God. God wants to spare the citizens of Nineveh. Jonah wants to kill them. He is hopelessly out of tune with God’s thinking. Jonah had finally obeyed God, but he did so under protest.
And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.
Here Jonah is arguing with God.
Look what he says, : “God, You can kill me for saying so but I am justified in being angry with Your actions”.
What complete and utter cheek. Especially when compared to the submissiveness of Isaac.
We would instinctively disqualify Jonah as a prophet. He is a total rebel.
His testimony was hopelessly flawed and too full of errors.
Yet God thought otherwise.
Jonah, despite his many faults, ended up doing what God wanted him to do. Jesus judged him on the bit that he did right and rated Jonah highly. Jesus emphasized that Jonah was a prophet despite the fact that his personal emotions and opinions were way off track.
Jonas is the Greek spelling of Jonah.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
:41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
Jonah acted out the death (thrown into a raging seas) burial (swallowed by a whale for three days) and resurrection (vomited up by the whale onto the beach) of Jesus Christ.
This is the most important part of the Gospel as our salvation hinges on the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It was also the toughest portion of the ministry of Jesus.
The people of Nineveh believed in the fish god Dagon, and immediately took Jonah to be a prophet because the people saw him come out of the mouth of their fish god. His reputation spread rapidly. Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, which was probably the most brutal and vicious kingdom from ancient history. So Jonah knew they deserved God’s judgement. But they were terrified of this tough, angry fish god prophet and they did not dare argue with Jonah.
Jonah, the backslider who ran away from God, inspired the greatest Old Testament revival of 120 000 heathens, despite feeling very upset and cross about it all.
So do you think you know how to judge a prophet?
David committed adultery and murder.
God punished him by the death of the baby that was born from that event. So we do not get away with anything in God’s eyes.
Yet Jesus is proud to be called the Son of David.
David’s psalms remain some of the greatest literature ever written. His psalms include some brilliant prophecies of Calvary.
To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
For dogs [Gentiles] have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Here David prophesied of the New Testament priesthood that would replace the priesthood of the Temple that David’s son Solomon was going to build.
Israel’s flag, the star of David, flies today as the oldest flag in the world.
The name of David appears more often in the Bible than any other name.
Yet David probably behaved worse than any other prophet. So God punished him for his errors, but he remained an inspired prophet who fulfilled God’s will.
John the Baptist was one of the greatest prophets, as well as being the fore runner of the first Coming of Jesus.
But when Herod imprisoned him his eagle eye filmed over and he began to doubt that Jesus was Messiah.
Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
This was probably the most insulting question that John could have asked as John was the one who had pointed out Jesus to the world.
John’s ministry could not have reached a lower ebb.
Yet look at the answer that Jesus gave. He could have shredded John’s reputation and de-prophetized him.
Instead He complimented John on what he had done, that part of his ministry which fulfilled the Scripture.
And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John,…
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
He quoted the Scripture that John had fulfilled. That made John a part of God’s Big Picture, and thus John was judged as a success.
In terms of the little picture, John’s personal life and his lack of vision at the end, we can see that John had messed up badly. But that did not take away from the Scriptural prophecy that he had fulfilled.
Remember, a prophet only serves God in terms of the Scripture that he does fulfill. The rest of his life is not really important in terms of the Big Picture.
John, who wrote the Book of Revelation, fell down twice to worship an angel and was rebuked. Yet his visions were awe inspiring and he is reckoned as a great apostle and a great prophet.
And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.
:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.
Worship an angel!
This was serious. Paul had warned against it.
Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind
And to do it twice in such quick succession. John had no excuse for making such a big mistake.
Do we hold it against him. Of course not. We know he messed up twice. That just indicates that, great man as he was, he was human after all.
Yet deep down we know that the Book of Revelation is possibly the most inspired revelation ever given to any prophet.
You can add more to this list of prophets who were not perfect
Elisha who had a money grabbing servant Gehazi.
Joshua was fooled by neighbours who wore old clothes and pretended to come from far away.
So any critic who demands perfection from a prophet simply does not understand how God works.
God is not limited by human imperfections. He works His hidden perfect will, despite our faults and shortcomings.
God even spoke through a donkey once.
Job says that God puts no trust in His saints. He knows that we humans are but dust and liable to make mistakes.
Example : A woman puts on a beautiful , long white dress that is a real work of art. A drop of ink falls on one small part of the dress due to some human error that she made. What does everyone see? The ink spot. They focus on the flaw and can no longer appreciate the exquisite elegance and high level of craftsmanship that went into the dress itself. The real value of the dress is then dismissed. That is our human way of thinking. Not very bright, is it?
Only one Man is perfect. Jesus Christ.
Only one other man claims to be infallible, the Pope.
Brother Branham is not Jesus Christ. So please do not turn him into a second Pope by demanding that he be infallible and never make mistakes.
We live in a messy world. We have to work hard (God’s penalty on Adam and Eve) if we are to find and follow God’s perfect will.
At Kimberley diamond mine in South Africa the miners dug up 22 million tons of dirt and rock to find 3 tons of diamonds. Each ton of diamonds was hidden in 7 million tons of dirt, called overburden. But miners thought that this price was worth paying because they valued the diamonds.
So we dig through brother Branham’s teachings to discover Scriptural truth. Yes, we will find errors that have to be cast aside like overburden. But we are luckier than the diamond miners. His teachings have far more truth than the diamond mine overburden.
Like diamond miners, we have to dig through Brother Branham’s sermons to uncover the amazing insights that reflect in Bible verses. We discover beautiful truths that run through and link up many Bible verses. These are the diamonds of knowledge and wisdom that are worth all the sweat and effort when we realize that we can actually know what the Bible means.
Reject brother Branham as the end time prophet if you like, but where can you find some other man who can give us better insights into Scripture?
Jesus said that we must worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
So in our day we need to know Truth.
Some examples :
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; …..
:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
These are just a few of the questions that skeptics and atheists have challenged Christians with. Are you able to reply and convincingly explain all these points?
Brother Branham’s ability to resolve mysteries like these puts him in a league of his own. His ministry, via his teachings and getting us to think Scripturally, should also enable us to answer these questions and the numerous other questions that people have which they use as an excuse for not believing the Bible. Both the Big Picture of God’s perfect will and the fascinating details that others ignore or explain away as not being important or, worse still, regard as being a mistake, start unfolding in the light of his incredible insights.
So, how do we judge if William Branham is the end-time prophet?
Not by listing his faults. That is not God’s way of judging a prophet.
God punishes a prophet for his mistakes but does not de-prophetize him.
We must rather look at the three Scriptures that predict an end time prophet and see if he fulfilled those Scriptures.
If he did, then he is the prophet.
We can list his mistakes in the same way that the Bible listed the mistakes of the other prophets but then we ignore the mistakes by focusing on the Big Picture of the three Scriptures that he did fulfill.
The final prophet to the Gentiles has to do three things.
This is how we judge him. Did he fulfill these three vital steps?
These three Scriptures set off a deep-flowing spiritual tsunami that sweeps through the spiritual dimensions of God’s Big Picture and drags believers along with it.
Any mistakes that William Branham made are the typical aberrations of a human being who obviously cannot know everything and who has not got perfect recall of the facts that he does know.
We leave God to judge him in terms of the errors that he made. These errors cannot distract from the exquisite craftsmanship of his deep insights. His personal faults cannot restore us to the early church. Let God deal with his personal faults. We must learn from his Biblical insights because that alone will restore us back to the first church age.
Example : If I am lost in the desert and you pick me up in your car, I am not going to complain about any faults that I can see in the car. I will focus on the fact that despite any faults there may be in you and your car, nevertheless God is using you and the car to give me direction and get me out of the mess that I was in.
We will never appreciate brother Branham’s ministry unless we realize that we are heading for the Tribulation because we love human opinion and tradition far more than we love Scripture. Today there are more than 30 000 different types of denominations. This represents a lot of confused thinking. All these groups are just in a state of random drift as they are all going in different directions.
Remember, we come into this Gospel which is contrary to our basic pagan human nature.
So we need someone to give us direction.
Thus we need the deeper truths that William Branham revealed in order to give us direction by taking us back to the teachings of the New Testament.
If we do not have this specific direction then we just drift around year-in and year-out without growing and getting somewhere.
The main ministry of the final Gentile prophet is:
No one has done this better than brother Branham.
A brief list of some of the topics that he revealed :
What was original sin? (please do not say ‘disobedience’).
What is the seed of the serpent?
Why did God demand animal blood to atone for Adam and Eve’s sin?
The Tribulation is not 7 years but three and one half years
The seven church ages
The seven seals
A proper marriage vow is for keeps, until one spouse dies. There is no divorce and re-marriage.
Water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ
The seventh angel who must finish the mystery of God
The Godhead explained without unscriptural words like Trinity
The four guards around the Throne of God
Daniel’s seventy weeks
The Roman beast and the American beast of Revelation Chapter 13
Israel and the church in Revelation Chapter 12
But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
2. He must restore all things. This is vital. He must not bring us a new revelation of some clever ideas. He must keep pointing us back to the New Testament church which launched the first church age. We must believe and behave in the pattern that they set.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things
William Branham kept referring us back to the Bible as the basis of our beliefs.
The Bible is our absolute.
63-1201M AN.ABSOLUTE_ SHREVEPORT.LA V-17 N-10 SUNDAY_
:85 …God’s Word is that absolute.
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:6 and my absolute is the Word, the Bible.
Everything we believe must be proven by linking up scriptural verses.
There must be no new ideas, because a restoration means taking us back to the original ideas.
64-0823M QUESTIONS.AND.ANSWERS.1_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN COD SUNDAY_
« 155 But those who can accept the Word in Its fullness, not me preaching It, because It’s the Bible says so. Those who accept that is free, because they–the Word’s already been judged.
The Laodicean church age An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages
Have you ever noticed how the people who lead others astray bind them closely to themselves by fear? They say that if the people don’t do what they say, or if they leave, then destruction will follow. They are false prophets, for a true prophet will always lead one to the Word and bind the people to Jesus Christ and he won’t tell the people to fear him or what he says, but to fear what the Word says.
The Ephesian Church Age An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages
One of these days there is going to come a prophet to the Laodicean Church Age and you will know if he is the real one sent from God or not. Yes you will, for if he is of God HE WILL BE IN THAT WORD EXACTLY AS GOD GAVE IT TO PAUL. HE WON’T DEVIATE FROM THAT WORD FOR A MOMENT, NOT BY ONE IOTA. In that last age, when there will be many false prophets appearing, watch and see how they keep telling you that if you don’t believe them and what they say, you will be lost; but when that LAST DAY PROPHET comes on the scene, if he is truly that prophet, he will be crying out, “Get back to the Word or you are lost.” He won’t build on a private revelation or interpretation, but on the Word.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children
(John the Baptist did this) , and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Five apostles together with Mark. Luke and Jude wrote the New Testament. These are our spiritual fathers because all we learn of God comes from the New Testament which they wrote.
We must only believe what they believed.
We cannot go past them, as we are to be turned back to them.
They never knew what the seven Thunders are.
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« 335 “When will it be, Brother Branham?” I cannot tell you. I do not know…. One of the mystery of that Seal, the reason it wasn’t revealed, it was seven thunders that uttered their voices, and there it is perfectly, because nothing knows anything about it; wasn’t even written. …
They never knew the new Name of Christ.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
No man knows the new Name of Jesus.
« 318-1 † PHILADELPHIAN.CHURCH.AGE – CHURCH.AGE.BOOK CPT.8
“And I will write my NEW Name upon him.”
My New Name. When ALL becomes new, then He will take upon Him a new Name and that Name will be the Name of the bride also. What that Name is, none dare conjecture. It would have to be a revelation of the Spirit given so conclusively that none would dare deny it. But no doubt He will leave that revelation to the day when He desires to give that Name forth. Suffice it to know that it will be more wonderful than we could ever imagine.
They never knew when Christ’s Second Coming was to happen.
William Branham in 1965, the last year of his life, was still waiting for the Coming of the Lord. Thus the Lord obviously did not come in 1963.
65-0725E WHAT.IS.THE.ATTRACTION.ON.THE.MOUNTAIN_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN V-8 N-8 SUNDAY_
« 4 … We send greetings up in the mountains, Prescott, Arizona, to Brother Leo Mercier and his group that’s up there waiting for the Coming of the Lord. We send greetings to those in Tucson, that’s gathered tonight, waiting for the Coming of the Lord. Down into Houston, Texas, to those who are waiting for the Coming of the Lord. Up in Chicago, to those who are waiting for the Coming of the Lord. Up on the East Coast, New York and Connecticut, and the great groups up there, that’s waiting for the Coming of the Lord. We don’t have room here to seat them, so we just have to send them the Word through the–the medium of the telephone. We send greetings to Brother Junior Jackson tonight, and his group down in Clarksville. Brother Ruddell, up on sixty-two, and his group, waiting for the Coming of the Lord. And we’re gathered here tonight at the home church, the tabernacle, waiting for the Coming of the Lord.
They did not believe that Jesus was to return as a Cloud that remained 43 kilometers up in the sky.
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
The early church believed that Jesus would return as a physical Person on a cloud. He would not return as a cloud, especially if the cloud remains at height of 27 miles up in the sky.
William Branham was nowhere near Flagstaff or Sunset Mountain on the day that the Cloud was photographed on 28 February 1963. The hunting season only opened on 01 March 1963. He preached in Houston on 04 March 1963. Thus he only started hunting almost a week after the Cloud was photographed. He never saw the Cloud. When the 7 angels came down to him and then left him and went away, they did not form the Cloud because there was no Cloud photographed on that day.
The disciples never asked Jesus when He was Coming. They only asked for a sign of His Coming.
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
It is unscriptural to ask when the Lord is Coming.
Thus it is wrong to try to work out when He is Coming.
The great Cloud that was photographed in 1963 by Dr James MacDonald moved across the sky at a height of 27 miles. This Cloud could not be explained because a second, smaller cloud initially travelled about 20 miles behind it. The second cloud was caused by the smoke and debris of an exploding rocket. This cloud dispersed after a while. What caused the main Cloud? There was no scientific explanation. So it was a supernatural Cloud caused by angels. William Branham was not present in that area of Flagstaff on that day, 28 February 1963. He preached at Houston on 4 March 1963 and only after that did he go hunting at Flagstaff as the hunting season only opened on 1 March. Thus William Branham never saw the Cloud. It was never photographed lower than 27 miles up in the sky, moving from the west.
He described the main Cloud as a sign of the Son of man in the heaven. It had to be supernatural as only the smaller cloud had a natural explanation.
65-0718M TRYING.TO.DO.GOD.A.SERVICE.WITHOUT.BEING.THE.WILL.OF.GOD_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN V-4 N-8 SUNDAY_
« 167 † And then in that great observatory, so that the world will be without, they’re still wondering what happened. In Tucson, them big observatories took the picture of it up there; still wondering what happened. What is it? They still put in the paper, “Does anybody know anything about what, how it could have happen?” There is no fog up there, there’s no air, there’s no moisture; thirty miles high in the air. Oh, my!
“There shall be signs in the heaven above. And when these things take place, earthquakes in divers places, then shall appear the sign in the heaven, of the Son of man.”
63-0707M THE.INDICTMENT_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN V-3 N-19 SUNDAY_
« 164 † On My handmaids and maidservant I’ll pour out of My Spirit; and I’ll show signs in the heavens above, and on earth; fire, and pillars of smoke, and vapor.’”
Pillars of smoke refers to the smaller cloud that was made by the smoke and debris of the exploding rocket. Smoke that was 27 miles up in the sky. Both the natural smaller cloud made from smoke and explosion debris and the much bigger supernatural Cloud formed by seven angels moved together from the West, although about 20 miles apart, until the smaller cloud dispersed.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke
65-0801E EVENTS.MADE.CLEAR.BY.PROPHECY_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN V-12 N-3 SUNDAY_
« 129 … And also in the Book of Mark and in Matthew, where He said these great signs and wonders would appear in the sky, and people call them saucers, flying saucers, can–can vanish with the power and quickness of a thought, intelligence that can move in. He can write, He can speak, He can do whatever He wants to. The great Pillar of Fire, “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
And sights coming upon the earth, pyramids of smoke rising into the air, way above where there cannot be no humidity nor nothing, thirty miles high. Predicted a year and a half before it happened, that it would be that way. Then turn the picture and see Who it is looking down.
So we must not be fooled into knowing things that the fathers who wrote the New Testament did not know.
We are not to build on possible interpretations of quotes.
William Branham told us to go back to the written Word as our absolute.
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« E-13 …. and always search out what I say. If it isn’t exactly with the Scripture, don’t believe it…
63-1110E HE.THAT.IS.IN.YOU_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN V-6 N-12 SUNDAY_
227 … Believe all the Message. Believe That. If it isn’t, if it isn’t written in the Bible, then don’t you believe it.
62-0318 THE.SPOKEN.WORD.IS.THE.ORIGINAL.SEED.2_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN V-3 N-2 SUNDAY_
« 310 …Now, all these things I’ve said, if they don’t jive with the Bible, or dovetail with God’s Word, they’re wrong, they’re wrong, …
62-0211 ONENESS_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN V-10 N-2 SUNDAY_
134 And say, “Our pastor said it’s all right to do this.” I don’t care what your pastor said. If it’s contrary to God’s Word, let his word be a lie, and keep God’s Word.
The 7 Seals were not opened in the days of the early church. John saw them open only when the saints were around the throne of God in Heaven, after the church ages were over.
So brother Branham revealed the Seals to us, he did not open them. Christ alone can do that.
But God must reveal it before He can open it.
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
The two Jewish prophets open the sixth Seal during the Tribulation.
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« 295 …It’s Moses and Elijah, ’cause there’s their ministry re-impersonated again: both men. Oh, my. Do you see it now? See what the Sixth Seal is? It’s those prophets.
Now, notice. Don’t let it choke you, but watch what opened that Seal: prophets. See? Amen. There you are. Oh, we’re living in the eagle day, brother, head up among the clouds. They opened that Sixth Seal. They have power to do it. Amen. There’s your Sixth Seal coming open. See?
So the two prophets will open the Sixth Seal in the Tribulation.
We have a revelation of it in the meanwhile.
63-0324E THE.SEVENTH.SEAL_ JEFFERSONVILLE.IN MONDAY_
…and we know that this Seventh Seal cannot be broke to the public until that hour arrives.
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« 208 Remember, He hid the Seventh Seal from us. He wouldn’t do it. When the Angel stood, day by day, telling it, but then He wouldn’t do it on that one. Said, “There is silence in Heaven.” No one knew. It was the Coming of the Lord.
One quote says “public” the other quote says “us”. So we are the public.
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« 394 …and He opened that Seventh Seal. But you see, it’s a hidden mystery. No one knows it. But it–it’s right along with what He said: no one would know His coming; they also would not know about this seven thunder mystery. So you see, it’s connected together.
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176 The Seventh Seal hasn’t opened yet, you know. That’s His Coming.
The Seventh Seal never opened nor was it revealed. It refers to the Coming of the Lord and as such remains the greatest mystery in the Bible.
The early church believed Christ was the Head of the church
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:
No man, no prophet, no pastor can claim to be the head of the church.
Today the pastor claims to be the head of the church and that is one reason why, in the Laodicean age, the true Head Jesus Christ, stands outside the door of the church.
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
In 27 Books of the New Testament, the word “pastors” is only mentioned once and that is in the Book of Ephesians. Even then, pastors are mentioned as the fourth out of five ministries.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Another Scripture that gives an order or ranking in the church, obviously gives the apostles first place as they wrote the New Testament and then comes a prophet whose ministry is to take people back to the apostolic teachings. This Scripture places a teacher as third as he has to run the doctrines through the Bible and prove them from the Bible.
There is no mention of a pastor. So the modern day pre-eminence of pastors as head of the church has no Bible foundation.
I CORINTHIANS 12:28
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
So the early believers of the first church age never had a church dominated by a pastor. Mentioning the word “pastors” once in the letter to the Ephesians of the first Ephesian church age does not provide Scriptural grounds for pastors to usurp authority over and dominate their churches in the last Laodicean church age.
Christ was the only Head of the church at the start of the church ages.
So our modern Message church age does not look like the first church age, which is a major reason why Christ stands outside the church today.
How do we judge William Branham as a prophet?
Not by his mistakes. God will judge him on those issues.
We judge by the Scriptures that he had to fulfill.
Did brother Branham give us a greater clarity so that we can better understand the Bible?
Did he encourage us to go back to the Bible and only believe what we can prove from what is written in the Bible?
Did he tell us to regard the early church as our model so that we could believe what they believed?
If he did that, then he has done what the end time prophet is supposed to do.
If we know the Truth from the Bible, then we can ignore any statements that he ( or anyone else for that matter ) makes if it turns out that those statements cannot be proven from Scripture.
Christians are not to judge people. We are not to judge the man.
We are to judge his ideas.
Did enough of his ideas come from the Bible so that we are able to believe what the first church age believed in the days of the apostles?
If we cannot prove an idea of his from the Bible then we leave it alone.
But, on the plus side, there is a vast amount of deep Bible insights that brother Branham did leave with us. That makes him a serious contender for the office of end-time prophet to the Gentiles.
If you feel that he does not qualify, who is your preferred candidate?
Do you have one? Because the Scripture has to be fulfilled.