In this message we are speaking about happenings in religious circles that we believe have done great damage to the cause of the Gospel, despite the proponents being so sincere of doing God a service. Now, it naturally feels bad to talk against something which many people hold dearly and are convinced of it being the right thing. Standing out of the crowd to point out error even becomes more challenging when people assess Truth on the basis of statistics of how many people support it. But on this I would agree with the person who said that “there are lies, great lies, and statistics.” If history has taught us something, it is the fact that many times right things and the people who do them have always been in a minority. This is so because human beings are not creatures of logic but emotion. Often human beings do what other human beings do without questioning the underlying logic or assumptions.
It is for this reason that we respect bold and sincere men like Martin Luther, the reformer; a man who challenged the medieval traditions and dogma of the Catholic system. “Here I stand, I can do no other”, declared Luther. Some people discerned boldness and sincerity in his words but others beheld insubordination and arrogance. It is a great error to mistake docility for humility, sincerity for arrogance, and worst of all, compromise for being ‘more open-minded.’
“Here I stand, I can do no other”, declared Luther. Some people discerned boldness and sincerity in his words but others beheld insubordination and arrogance. It is a great error to mistake docility for humility, sincerity for arrogance, and worst of all, compromise for being ‘more open-minded.’
Life in a Prison Cell
Have you ever wondered how it was like for Nelson Mandela, that great freedom fighter of South Africa, to be in prison for twenty seven years? Well, it is interesting to note that we mortals are actually like a person who is born a prisoner in a cell; for years he grows up seeing the world through a tiny window – hearing voices of wailing and celebration, and sighs of relief, but yet never grasping what or how the world really is. Through the window of the prison cell he can see windows of other prison cells from where voices of other prisoners are heard. One voice asks: How are you? Another, Does anyone love or care about me? Friends, we are all prisoners bound in prison cells of our mortal bodies. However, somewhere in our hearts is the awareness of the existence of the Great Almighty Spirit who transcends all matter, space and the laws of physics, but alas, we find ourselves trapped in miry clay, seeing the world and trying to interpret it only by what we dimly suspect through the windows of our sight, taste, feeling, smell, and hearing. We see each other, and relate only by words or gestures which may reveal or conceal our true feelings, but feelings which we many times do not even understand ourselves. In all this, however, is the good news that one can break free from this prison when his or her soul hears the Voice of The Creator. When God breathes His Life upon a person, only then does he or she truly begin to live life with a sense of purpose and hope. Somewhere in his soul is a deep joy of freedom. Until a person experiences this Born Again experience, he or she is vulnerable to stories manufactured by different prisoners of this world, each having their own version of what must be Truth. Other prisoners will put on emotional drama to try to depict what they actually don’t understand. We live in a world of taking advantage of each other’s ignorance, and until one receives the true revelation of God, his life is bound to fall prey to crazy people’s circus in this world.
We live in a world of taking advantage of each other’s ignorance, and until one receives the true revelation of God, his life is bound to fall prey to crazy people’s circus in this world.
The greatest event that can happen in a life of a person is to hear the voice of God in the heart. That expression of God’s voice to our hearts, which reveals His Will, is what we call revelation. The revelation of God opens our hearts to understanding the mystery of His Purpose. It lets a person comprehend what world events are heading up to; it lets a person become aware that there is more to life than eating breakfast, lunch and supper. When the revelation of God comes to a person, his life ceases to be haphazard; it gets filled with purpose.
Discerning Tares from Wheat
The realization of God’s will or purpose is what enables you and I to discern truth from falsehood. The desire of true children of God when they gather for worship is not to hear a preaching about how they should be able to buy the latest model of a car or how to make money in order to own an extravagant mansion “for our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil. 3:19-20). Now, this is not to say that a believer cannot be rich. A believer can be rich but his mind is not set on the riches; the riches will one day fade and be no more, and so his faith and preoccupation is about the will of God. That is the kind of life you read the apostles had. It was a life of waiting upon the Lord and His kingdom. It takes a true revelation of the Word to give a believer such a hope and arouse in him such expectation. However, this is not what we see today. There is a strange gospel going around the world – Dollar-Gospel. One doesn’t need a calling to preach it; he or she only needs to know something about motivational talk. Instead of lifting people out of their prison conditions of the flesh, this gospel has imprisoned people into carnality. And talk of carnality, among Christians today! You can no longer recognize Gospel music; it’s everything about rock-n-roll and hip-hop with some words ‘hallelujah’ and ‘Jesus’ in it. You can no longer recognise modest dressing! You can no longer see humility in the ministers! Churches have become “habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev.18:2). Pentecostals are the worst in all this as they have fallen prey to false manifestations of tongues, prophecy, healings and miracles. Their appetite for signs and wonders has led them to manufacture manifestations of the Spirit. But is this a haphazard occurrence? Should we be surprised by it? If you have followed William Branham’s ministry, the answer is a big NO to these questions.
Endtime Message Believers beware of Charismaticism!
In 1962, Brother Branham organised a meeting at which he wanted to address Christians on an important thing about why he stood for what he did, and secondly to explain why the once great spirit of revival in the three main popular ministries – of Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and his – was no longer as active. His sermon was titled The Spoken Word is the Original Seed, and was addressed to all who followed him as well as Pentecostals who had only liked his ministry of divine healing and miracles but disagreed with his Message. This wasn’t an ordinary sermon as it contained a message that the Lord had spoken to him to deliver. It had THUS SAITH THE LORD. The message is especially important to Endtime Message Believers at this present time when many of them are beginning to entertain charismatic behavior in their assemblies. There are some churches which are beginning to psychologically influence people to scream and shout amens during a preaching, or to run around, or behave in a way that would depict the presence of God in their midst. Dear friends, yes, God’s power is able to come upon a people and touch them in a way that can cause them to stagger around as it was in the book of Acts, but the moment you see people getting tamed to behave in a certain religious way – whether to be religiously quiet as is the case in traditional churches or to be religiously noisy as is the case among Pentecostals – just know that sincerity is at stake and someone is schooling people into hypocrisy and nonsense.
the moment you see people getting tamed to behave in a certain religious way – whether to be religiously quiet as is the case in traditional churches or to be religiously noisy as is the case among pentecostals – just know that sincerity is at stake and someone is schooling people into hypocrisy and nonsense
Here is Brother Branham Branham’s admonition on the matter of false charismaticism:
That’s what’s the matter with the people today. They can’t wait for the real Holy Spirit to take the Church in position. They’ve got to manufacture something, work up something… all these kind of tommyrot, instead of waiting upon the Lord for the real manifestation…That’s what’s the matter today. You want some kind of phoney make-up, with screaming, jumping, speaking in tongues, or something, instead of waiting for the real Word of God to be made manifest… (p.67, 69).
The question is, Why do people (including some Endtime Message believers) resort to false, manufactured, manifestations? Frist, because of the lack of sincerity, and second, because of the lack of understanding of the time and season we are living in. Such deceived people are like a person who is so enthused at a green grain field that when the time it dries up, he feels depressed and resorts to go and buy artificial green plastic plants to fill up a field. Quite an extreme example but one which illustrates the point that there is a time to everything: a time of planting and a time of growth and a time when the grain has to dry up for the final harvest. This is exactly what the Holy Spirit had revealed to Brother Branham concerning why the exciting revival fires which were so boisterous and sweeping over the land of America in the 1950s were now cooling off. Listen to these important words:
Why then has the revival fires let up? Don’t hear very much more of Billy Graham…Oral Roberts, not burning the country like he used to. My meetings is not even heard of…What’s the matter?…The seeds has been planted. Remember, there is a planting time, then a harvest time. Now, there has been three different kinds of seeds planted. A denominational, Billy Graham, he was the head planter. Oral Roberts, for the Pentecostals; Pentecostal seed has been planted…And then the Word has been planted. Now you’ll have to understand, folks, I ain’t saying this no more unless God tells me…Three seeds has been planted…Then the kind of seed you have planted in your field will be the kind of crop you will reap. If the denominations wants more members, that’s what they’re going to get…the Pentecostals want more Pentecostals; that’s what they’re going to get…But the Word is going to produce sons and daughters of God…(P.39 – 40).
Amen. In the light of these prophetic words, is it any difficult to understand why we now have Pentecostal mega churches with pastors who own private jets and motivate their flock into prosperity? You only need a little acquaintance with the ministries of Tommy Osborne, Oral Roberts, and Kenneth Hagin to see what was their underlying motivation for ministry, and what they were sowing in the hearts of their followers. Today the fruit of their ministries tells a lot.
Whom should I believe?
Kenneth Hagin is a renowned Pentecostal preacher who was a contemporary of William Branham. He is a respected figure among Pentecostals. This is one man, along Gordon Lindsay and other such early ministers, who has influenced many Pentecostals to disregard Brother Branham’s ministry. This is especially so, among modern Pentecostals who have no first-hand knowledge of events that transpired in the revival movement in USA. The only knowledge modern preachers have about William Branham is what they are taught in Bible Colleges. In most (if not all) Bible Colleges there is a subject which deals with how to recognize and refute cults. William Branham is often listed as a man who started well and was alright in his ministry, as long as he stayed within the confines of praying for the sick and prophesying, but made a great error when he began to teach. This assertion is often backed up with the alleged prophecy of Kenneth Hagin which foretold about God killing Branham because he was in error. Now, it is beyond the scope of my message to deal with Hagin’s assertion (we may deal with that issue in the next sermon). But, I have four videos I would like you to watch (see the videos at the bottom of this page): the first one is of William Branham, a man all these men – Gordon Lindsay, Tommy Osborn, Kenneth Hagin, and others – believed to be a true prophet, sent of God. This video shows William Branham discerning people and praying for the sick as he was under the anointing of God. The video shows sighs and worship from the audience as they experienced the presence of God in the ministry of the man on the pulpit. The second video is of Kenneth Hagin speaking to an audience and then leading them into what they believe is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The third video is about the prophecy of Kenneth Hagin regarding the death of Brother Branham. The fourth video is a current video of a famous and very rich prophet of Malawi who has become very popular; he is no doubt a crop which has resulted from seeds sown by early Pentecostal revivalists. The fellow now has two private jets. My question to you as you watch the videos is this: if you had nothing by which to judge the truthfulness or God’s vindication of these men but only these videos, what will be your conviction? Whom should you or I, believe? My own answer is one of these men was truly called of God like Moses of old, and the other two are no different from Jannes and Jambres; and like in the words of Saint Paul, “as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was” (2 Tim.3:8).
The four videos
First Video: William Branham
CONTINUED IN PART IV