In James 4:17 we read that “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” We can say that the state of having knowledge comes with responsibility, and so, it goes without saying that the more knowledge one has, the greater his or her responsibility and accountability. If a terrible incident happened– say, a house gutted by fire in which there is a little child and an adult; if people rush to the scene and rescue the two, they will demand an explanation of what happened from the adult, not the child. It will be assumed that the adult is of enough age to have been able to prevent the accident from occurring. Likewise, we can also say that if the Lord has allowed us to know something on a deeper level, that knowledge comes with responsibility and accountability. The trouble is, down the road you will come across people who are supposed to know better as grown-ups in spiritual things but yet act and live like toddlers. This situation often arises when a leader of an assembly is not doing his work of feeding the flock with the right knowledge to establish them in the Faith. It is now becoming worrisome to see a growing number of fellowships begin to yearn for carnal charismatic manifestations. In the process many people are getting swayed into indulging in modern perversions of the Gospel. There is a lack of simple discernment to distinguish the genuine move of the Holy Spirit from the counterfeit.
It is now becoming worrisome to see a growing number of fellowships begin to yearn for carnal charismatic manifestations. In the process many people are getting swayed into indulging in modern perversions of the Gospel. There is a lack of simple discernment to distinguish the genuine move of the Holy Spirit from the counterfeit.
In the scriptures we were already forewarned concerning the apostasy of the Endtime: Saint Peter admonished us that “there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies…And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Peter 2:1-3). Surely the Word of God is being blasphemed today by unbelievers largely because of the shameful things which are happening in churches. These shameful things are being caused by pastors and bishops whose preoccupation has become ‘Come and receive a financial blessing!’ and ‘Come and see signs and wonders!’ Every time there is an evangelical wall-posta or radio advert it is about some man from Nigeria claiming to have some supernatural gift of “miracles” and “healings”, going about selling the so-called Holy Water. The real motive of all these exaggerations is not a sincere desire to see people freed from oppressions but to increase sizes of churches which of course results into bigger tithes and offerings. These offerings are often spent on the lavish lifestyles of the ‘men of Gold’. These crooks have been effective at exploiting the gullibility of religious and superstitious people. It’s a sad state of affairs. Three times I have been on flights to and from Addis-Ababa (a major flight-connection point for airlines), and it’s been interesting how every time I have been seated next to groups of Zambians coming from revival meetings in Nigeria where they get holy water, oil, and all such things. It is heart-breaking to see people spending so much money running to places where they believe they will receive answers to their prayers. Prosperity Preachers have taken advantage of this desperation and with their shrewd advertising skills have managed to convert it into cash for their pockets. When you look at what goes on in those churches on TV, there is surely a lot of activity there to excite emotions. However, to any discerning eyes it is not difficult to see that what is actually going on is a famine of hearing the true Word of God which revives and establishes a soul; the famine is what is causing people to move about different places – “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it” ( Amos 8:11-12).
The tragic in all this quagmire is that both the imposter and the follower sincerely believe to be doing God a service. But sincerity does not define Truth and it is a fearful thing because a day of reckoning is coming when many shall profess that they did miracles, prophesied and performed miracles but yet the Lord will denounce them as being men of iniquity (lawlessness) – “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22). Oh, what fearful admonition. But brethren, we have received a Message that should let us know better concerning spiritual things. Very sadly however is the fact that even people who were supposed to know better, having been forewarned by The Message, are also in a terrible state. Much of the mess has been caused by the quotists. These people can look so harmless and good, but oh, when you look at what their behaviour and misconception of the Word has done to the ministry that God sent to call us out of religious dogma, it can leave your heart in frustration. On one hand are intolerant extremists and on the other are those who would desire to see unity and would want to achieve it regardless of the doctrinal differences in the movement. This leads me to share the third dream.
Third dream: “Is this what you are eating?”
Recall that in the first dream, I, together with another brother, were helping our pentecostal reverend build a church of straw. In the second dream I was building a structure made of a wonderful material which I was also eating and it tasted like nothing I have ever eaten before. The third dream was totally strange but not difficult to understand. It occurred on a day when I had just come from a meeting of ministers. They were many, and most of them were quotists. (I believe the quotists and many who have deified William Branham have done gross damage to the man’s ministry. Their works of ministry have only managed to portray him as a leader of a cult – a thing he vehemently fought so hard to the point of wanting to quit the ministry. The strange thing is that most of these folks can have a gentle demeanor. At the ministerial meeting I attended there were gentlemen who spoke softly and hugged, calling each other, “My precious brother.” But the hypocrisy that lies behind that utterance leads me to say that in the Endtime Message Movement if someone calls you, “My precious brother” it’s a quote and not a personal expression of thought. Many believers are only saying it because the prophet said so! Even so, this particular day when I attended the ministers meeting, the people’s behavior occurred in a different manner to me). The ministers talked with brotherly kindness and respect. I felt guilty in my heart and began to think: “Well, maybe I have been too hard speaking against Branhamism and how it has misrepresented the Message of the prophet… these people seem to be fine and calm and no doubt, they have the love of God…may be we just differ doctrinally but I guess working with them won’t hurt; they seem to be sincere and fighting for the same cause of holiness that I am fighting for…” On and on, and, to and fro, thoughts reeled through my mind. I went home that evening with so much on my mind, thinking about the sorry state of confusion, hate, and disharmony in the Message, and why we all couldn’t work together in unity. Later in the night I forgot about it and then a dream came to me:
I was sitting around a table with about four of the leaders of the ministerial meeting I had attended during the day. The place and environment looked so clean, white and bright. The ministers started eating the meal which was on the plates. The meals included boiled eggs and what looked like salads. Everyone was enjoying the meal. As I pulled my plate to start eating, I got a spoon and just as I was about to put the spoon into my mouth, I noticed filthy worms coming out of the eggs and the other food on the plates. It was a rotten mess on the plates but everyone seemed to be enjoying it. I got horrified as I screamed to the ministers saying, “Is this what you are eating?!” They never minded my exclamation, they simply continued eating the meal. I woke up feeling so thankful as I knew what the Lord was speaking to me.
Human civilization through time
We are speaking about these things because something happened in the 20th century, and which continues to happen now, to which every serious Bible believer ought to give attention.
something happened in the 20th century, and which continues to happen now, to which every serious Bible believer ought to give attention.
You will notice that humanity has always gone through different stages of civilization. If you were to take Shaka Zulu, that great African king and warrior, and ‘drop’ him into this present era, there will be just so many things he won’t comprehend. And going further, way back before Shaka’s era, there used to be a time when people survived on hunting and gathering wild food. One’s survival depended on being able to hunt. That was the Hunter-Gatherer Age. Later people became a little wiser as they began to domesticate animals and cultivate land. That way food became closer to man’s home. The hands of time moved further and in England man’s quest to do things faster led to mechanization of equipment. Hand tools were replaced with power-driven machines. For example the manual process of weaving cloth was mechanized using the Power Loom, and the steam engine was invented which enabled steamboats and locomotives to move faster. This was the Industrial Age.
Great as it seemed, the Industrial Age was only a prelude to the most powerful and ever versatile Information Age. Whilst the Industrial Age was characterized by industrialists hiding knowledge from workers in order to monopolize a skill, the information age is characterized by information being made available to anyone as it rushes through the airwaves and cables, reaching people through television, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, and all such technological devices. When you think of the great scientific developments which were achieved from the 1940s when the first large digital computers came on the scene, the words in Daniel 12:4 about what will happen in the last days should come to mind: “knowledge shall be increased”!
Computer evolution in the Information Age
One remarkable thing about the information age has been the evolution of computers from very large and inefficient ones of the 1940s to the modern small and portable ones. What once occupied an entire room of a building is now small enough to fit on a palm. The evolution of computers is often referred to as Computer Generations, and these generations have been classified into five categories. First generation computers were in the period from 1940 – 1956. These were very large computers – One computer could fill up a large room . Now here ere is something interesting, first generation computers were very BIG but not reliable. They used devices called vacuum tubes which would often over heat and blow up. These computers consumed so much energy and were hence too costly to run. Even so, they marked a beginning of a new era of digital civilization. I find it interesting to note how the digital revolution of the twentieth century occurred in tandem with the great spiritual revival. The revival began with a man that has rightly been described as a paradox to the twentieth century…
William Marrion Branham
This man’s ministry was nothing like ever seen in the history of the church. Some clergy, including his critics, have admitted that there hasn’t been such a ministry even from the days of the early church. Branham’s ministry began with intriguing signs of the supernatural that took him to an international stage. However, unlike what is common among charismatics he remained humble and sober, and his ministry was not one of exaggeration to entertain crowds or for soliciting money. Some journalists went with ill-conceived minds to expose ‘another impostor’ but many found themselves witnessing something that gave them goose-bump. One such occasion involved a photo which after being developed showed a halo of light over Rev. Branham’s head. The photo was forensically examined by an FBI agent who gave a report authenticating that the image had not been doctored. Brother Branham’s ministry started BIG – attracting people from all walks of life, denominations, and religions. However, as later events in Branham’s ministry showed, God’s purpose in sending this man wasn’t to merely demonstrate signs and wonders. It is important to know that any ministry that is specialized at only exciting people with miracles, without having a definite message of God for them, is no different from a magician’s enterprise.
It is important to know that any ministry that is specialized at only exciting people with miracles, without having a definite message of God for them, is no different from a magician’s enterprise.
It was sometime around 1954 and 1955 that William Branham began to sound a message that indicted denominational Christianity of its hypocrisy and how it fell from the original Faith of the apostles. Branham spoke against the immorality, corruption, and general worldliness that had crept into the church. This he did without compromise and not sparing his close associates. This was exactly in fulfillment to the commission God gave him in 1933 during a baptismal service when before hundreds of people a bright light appeared out of which a voice came saying “As John the Baptist was sent fore run the first coming of Christ so you are sent with a message to fore run His second coming.” From 1955 onwards, Branham’s ministry moved on to another stage when he would reveal thoughts of people even calling out their names, what they suffered from, and things they had done in their lives. God had already promised him concerning this sign in his ministry. At this time the establishment of organised denominations were still attracted to the man’s infallible gift of discernment. However, they found themselves at variance with his strong message. Many began to say, “God has called Branham to prophesy but not to teach”. As preposterous as this view was it influenced a lot of Charismatics to continue enjoying Branham’s ministry of discernment, healings and miracles but whilst ignoring his messages. With time there were enough copy-cuts trying to duplicate William Branham’s healing campaigns who managed to sway people into seeking gifts and not the Giver of gifts; loving manifestations and abandoning the Word of Life. Seeds of falsehood had been planted!
Seeds of Falsehood
Pentecostals like Gordon Lindsay, Oral Roberts and Tommy Osborne were among the notable charismatics who got enthused and inspired by Branham’s ministry but yet could not get along with his message. They moved on and established big ministries which thrived and out of them came more Pentecostal ministries, many which have continued to-date. Branham sowed the seeds of the Word in a people; these men also had their own version of (hybrid) seeds. Through time the fruits of these ministries have manifested. Now friends, when you look at the fruits that have resulted from those early Pentecostal revivalists who were only interested in spiritual gifts and not the doctrine of the Word, it is clear to see that the seed they had been planting in their followers wasn’t that of the Faith which was once delivered unto the saints. What offspring have their efforts yielded? Reprobate ministers whose goal is to make “merchandise” out of people. These men tell their congregants to sow seed of money into this and that for them to have a car, a good business, and so on and so forth. Much of what we see on TV today of what is happening in charismatic churches is so terrible. They have everything from motivational speeches, rock-and-roll, hip-hop, comedy, and all such worldly stuff. In most of these gatherings the dressing of womenfolk has gone way out of line. And these are the so-called Christians who would want to convert decently dressed Islamic woman into what they call the Gospel of Grace. Oh, what disGrace! What has caused this? Compromised preachers who play drama in the church instead of feeding people with God’s Word. Charles H. Spurgeon had correctly foretold this would happen when he said, “A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats” (Read Jude 1:3, 2 Peter 2:1-3).
“A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats” – C H Spurgeon.
…CONTINUED IN PART III.
(PDF copy of this Message will be posted when the series of this title complete).
Excerpt video of William Branham discerning people at a crusade – Click link below:
- William Branham Prayer Line
- Paul Crouch and T L Osborne’s testimony of William Branham and how the Pentecostal movement forbid them to associate with his ministry
- Another testimony by Rev. T L Osborne’s testimony
- Eye witness of Branham’s meetings in South Africa