Friday, June 21, 2019

William Branham and Jim Jones
Then Everything Changed:
By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
     Recently, I had the privilege of praying for a lady who had suffered with a serious physical disease for eleven years, and a nineteen-year spiritual enslavement with a cult. She wept, cried, shouted and sang praises to God and left behind a special cane she had used for eleven years. And she declared that she was free from the religious cult that had almost driven her to suicide!
   She mentioned William Marrion Branham, a deceased preacher from Jeffersonville, Indiana who was catapulted into prominence through the leadership of Rev. Gordon Lindsay and the Voice of Healing Magazine that he published.
   The gifts of the Holy Spirit operated powerfully in his ministry, bringing divine healing to many sick and afflicted people. His tragic fall into false doctrine began as he surrounded himself with clingers-on and supporters who believed he was the prophet Elijah. He eventually believed it. Satan had trapped him to believe a lie!
     Unfortunately, he got involved with false teachers who do not believe in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. William Branham said: “In the beginning Christ was not God but an attribute that was a thought.” (The Mighty God Unveiled Before us, p.11).
  That is pure blasphemy! Jesus has always been: God the Son from eternity, together with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He was incarnated, God in human flesh through His virgin birth, so that He might suffer, bleed and die as God's paschal Lamb for the sins of the world, and rise again in power for our justification!
    The Holy Bible states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him: and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1-4, 14)
    Error leads to more error and William Branham began to teach that God had sent him to open the seven seals of Revelation chapter 5, which only Jesus Christ is worthy to unseal! Taking the place of Jesus is a serious SIN caused by pride and ignorance!
   “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof? And NO MAN in Heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
   “And one of the elders said unto me, Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders stood A LAMB, as it had been slain...And HE came and took the book of Him that sat on the throne..” (Rev. 5: 1-9)
                             IT GOT MORE WEIRD!  
    Branham taught that there were two seeds, God's and Satan's. Totally disregarding the Holy Bible, he taught that in the Garden of Eden Satan through the serpent had sexual intercourse with Eve, and Cain was born from that union. That was the beginning of the false, spurious Serpent Seed Doctrine. 
    The Bible says: “And Adam knew Eve his wife: and she conceived and bear Cain, and said, I've gotten a man from the Lord.” (Gen. 3: 1). Again, William Branham chose to pervert the Word of God. The Bible warns about adding to or taking away from His holy Word. He was following the ways of the Joseph Smith, the Mormon liar and crook!
    “Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” (Deut. 4:2); “Every Word of God is pure. He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him. Add not thou unto His Words, lest He reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” (Prov. 30: 5,6)
      JESUS warned: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto Him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things written in this book.”  (Rev. 22: 18, 19)
                HOW COULD A MAN OF GOD FALL?
    How could a ‘born again’ believer whom God had anointed with the Holy Spirit fall so far from the truth? Don't forget that Lucifer, the murderer and father of lies was once the guardian of God's throne in Heaven. The Bible chronicles his fall:
    “Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth: and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God: thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 
  "Thou wast perfect in all thy ways TIL iniquity was found in thee...and thou hast Sinned: I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.” (Ezek. 28: 14-16)
     PRIDE entered into his heart and LUST for power possessed him until he believed he could cast Almighty God from His throne, but was himself cast down as, “like lightning” to the earth. (Ezek. 28:17; Luke 10: 18)
    “How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I WILL ascend into Heaven, I WILL exalt my throne above the stars of God; I WILL sit also above the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north; I WILL ascend above the heights of the clouds; I WILL be like the Most High.
     “Yet thou shalt be brought down to Hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying,  Is this the man that made the earth tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” (Is. 14:14-17)
   This speaks of the evil, proud men like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Osama bin Laden and others who will be amazed when they meet a very reduced Satan in hell!
   And don't forget that Lucifer convinced one-third of the holy angles to commit high treason and REVOLT against their Creator and God! (Rev.12: 4, 7-11). Out of twelve disciples whom Jesus hand picked to walk with Him, preach and cast out devils, Judas Iscariot betrayed Him and was lost. (John 17: 12)
    One of the seven Deacons that the Early Church chose in that first great Revival, Nicholas of Antioch brought the sin of polluting the saints by uniting the Church with sexual immorality and eating food dedicated to evil spirits. (Acts 6:5; Rev. 2: 14, 15)
   In 1964, God revealed to Gordon Lindsay through Sister Schrader, who was considered by many to be a prophetess, that He was removing William Branham, because he was leading people astray. Gordon Lindsay tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen. Kenneth Hagen received a prophecy as well:
      “In this prophecy, the Lord also said, “At the end of ’65, he who now stands in the forefront of the healing ministry as a prophet will be taken out of the way. He’ll make a false step and Satan shall destroy his life, but his spirit will be saved, and his works will follow him. Ere ’66 shall come, he shall be gone.”
      William Branham's vehicle was struck head-on by a vehicle driven by a drunken driver. He died six days later on December 24, 1965. Kenneth Hagen stated: 
    “Then the Lord explained to me, “I had to permit him to be removed because of the damage he was causing in the Body of Christ.” Two days later, Brother Lindsay called me and said, “Brother Hagin, the brother you referred to just died. I got out that prophecy the Lord gave us eighteen months ago and read it. It’s right on.”
     Many years ago, I met a precious Pentecostal brother in Winnipeg who became hooked by the Branham doctrine. Together with his friend, we tried to dissuade him from that erroneous doctrine, without success. 
   Finally, I asked him: “If Christians were persecuted and we were allowed only one book, would you choose the Holy Bible or a Branham tape? He answered, “I would give up the Bible for the Branham tape”.
   My family and I were living in Prince George, B.C. where I was employed as a Commercial Traveller with McCormicks Ltd. In June 1957, I was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit and was invited to preach at some Indian Reservations on my territory!
     I had become very interested in divine healing because my father, Ingvar Solbrekken, had been born again, healed miraculously and filled with the Holy Spirit through Oral Roberts Radio Ministry.
     On Friday May 20, 1961, Donna and I and our small children drove to Dawson Creek, B.C. to hear William Branham who was speaking that evening at the United Church. I had read Gordon Lindsay's great reports of his ministry and wanted to hear him personally.
    Nearing Dawson Creek, I noticed a sign pointing to a motel located about a quarter of a mile east of the highway. I tried to find a motel downtown, but all were taken so I drove back to the one off the highway. Fortunately, there was a room available and I was told that Branham's entourage were staying there as well.
    The United Church was filled, and expectancy was high. William Branham brought a good message and began to pray for a few people, when suddenly he became very weak. As he was about to leave he said, “The pastors on the platform can also pray for the sick, however, there is only one seer every hundred years or so.”
                    HE CONTRADICTED GOD'S WORD!
 Immediately, I knew that William Branham was in error. He had contradicted the Holy Bible. St. Paul stated: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles (plural), secondary prophets (plural)…Are all apostles? Are all prophets (plural)?” (1 Cor. 12: 28, 29).
    In that off-the-cuff statement, he was telegraphing that he was like the old testament prophets or seers that came every century or so! William Branham was announcing that he was that special End-time Prophet who was to come before the Rapture of the Church as prophesied in Malachi 4: 5, 6:
     “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 hearts of the fathers to the children to their fathers, lest I come suddenly and smite the earth with a curse.”
    Again, he was contradicting God's Word. JESUS put that conspiracy theory to rest when he pointed out John the Baptist as that prophet:
     “But what went ye out to see: A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send My Messenger before Thy face, which shall prepare Thy way before Thee . For all the prophets and the law prophesied unto John. And if you will receive it, this is Elijah, which was for to come.” (Matt. 11: 8-10, 13,14):
    The Holy Scriptures makes it plain that John the Baptist would come in the same spirit and power as Elijah before Messiah Jesus would arrive!  “But the angel said unto him, Fear not Zechariah: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
    “And he shall go before them in the spirit and the power of Elijah 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.” (Luke 1: 13,14,16, 17). 
   That prophesy had been fulfilled when John the Baptist came as the forerunner of Jesus, saying: “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” (John 1: 29)
    As early as 1961, William Branham believed and articulated that he was Elijah the  prophet, that was to come. In my mind, I tried to give him the benefit of a doubt, realizing that he was very poorly educated. The next morning, however, I got totally shocked!
    As I turned in the key at the Motel Office, I asked about Branham's team and was told that they were occupying a number of units. I knocked on the door of the largest cabin and was invited in. I stated that we had driven from Prince George to be in the meeting.
     They were very friendly and said that there were about 25 people in five vehicles that travelled in convoy wherever Brother Branham held crusades. And that he would spend a few hours at a time visiting with each family as they journeyed.
    I stated, “That was a very good service last night.” Then the tone changed, and one person spoke sharply, saying, “All his services are good.” I countered, “Brother Branham was very anointed.” Another one answered even more sharply: “He is always anointed.”
    I continued, “The Lord was certainly in that service.” Someone said sternly, “He is the Lord!” I asked seriously: “Are you saying that William Branham is the Lord?”
     They all chimed in, “Yes, he is the Lord!” Suddenly the atmosphere changed, and I sensed pure EVIL in that room! I said, “He is William Branham, the preacher. He is not the Lord. Jesus Christ is the Lord.” They were angry and rose up as though they would come at me, so I opened the door and left!
    I was stunned by their anti-biblical, heretical statement calling a human being God. I had tangled with the J.W.'s, the Mormon cultists, Seventh Day Adventists and Christian Scientists, but these people were supposed to be Full Gospel Christians! What a terrible tragedy, hurt  and disappointment!
   Now is the first time I have written about my experience with the personal team and followers of William Branham. God warned me in 1961 about the spiritual trap Satan had set for him when many of the powerful preachers in the USA were all on his band wagon.
    In June 1956, William Branham preached to 11,000 people at Jim Jones' Cadle Tabernacle Indianapolis, Indiana, in which he called it a great Holy Ghost Revival. He said that he was looking forward to spending eternity in heaven with Jim Jones
     If he were a genuine prophet, would he not have known that Jim Jones was a lying, bi-sexual pervert? And that he got advice from the great fraudster, Father Divine! And that he would lead 900 people to their deaths in the Jungles of Guyana in 1978.
     St. Paul stated, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Tim. 3:16)
      He warned: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another, but there be some that trouble you. and would pervert the Gospel of Christ. 
     "But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal.1: 6-9)
  And Jesus Christ said; "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." (Matt. 24;24)
    I close this paper with a sad note because I had not wanted to reveal my experience with Branham's entourage, but because that cult is spreading lies about Jesus and His Gospel throughout the world I am led of the Holy Spirit to reach those enslaved by that Satan's deception! Amen.