About

Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Emergent Monday - The Occultic Roots of the NAR

This is the gravestone of William Branham, the man whose strange teachings fuel the strange fire of the New Apostolic Reformation. Every Easter, many of Branham’s followers visit his grave in Jeffersonville, IN expecting to see his resurrection. They believe that his rising from the grave will be the sign that Jesus’ Second Coming is at hand. Branham’s grave attracts hundreds of domestic and international visitors who believe, as Branham prophesied, that he was the messenger of the Last Days.

This occult Masonic pyramid gravestone is adorned with an eagle, Branham stated many times that the Bible compared God's prophets to eagles, however, he never provided one scriptural example of where this was the case. This grave marker Lists the seven churches of Revelation on one side, and a list of seven men whom Branham believed signifigantly impacted the church. They are Paul, Irenaeus, Martin, Columbia, Luther, Westley, and Branham himself. This stone is eerily similar to the Watchtower Memorial marking the grave of Charles Taze Russell, the founder of the Jehovah's witnesses. 

William Branham was a false prophet and major heretic who taught false doctrines and promoted occultism. Even with his outlandish teachings and proven false prophecies, there are many poor souls who still believe in him, promote his teachings, and are basing their ministries on his ranting.

When people talk about the revivals of the 40’s and 50’s the name William Branham comes to the forefront. William Marrion Branham was born on April 6 1909 to a poverty stricken young couple in Berksville, Kentucky. Branham later claimed that when he was born a large halo appears over him and his 15 year old mother. (That’s quite a memory, I hardly remember anything that happened before I was five). He was raised a Roman Catholic and claimed to have divine visitations at ages three and seven. He left home at 19 and worked in a ranch in Arizona. He also claimed to have a short career as a boxer and claimed winning 15 Golden Gloves fights in the bantam weights class. 

At the age of 22 he had a conversion which changed the direction in his life. Being uneducated, academically and theologically illiterate, didn’t stop Branham from becoming a Baptist minister ordained as an assistant pastor at a Missionary Baptist Church in Jefferson Indiana. Canadian charismatic leader, Ern Baxter, who knew Branham well and worked extensively with him for seven years said this of Branham’s teaching:
“When he would speak, his English grammar was bad, and his theology worse. A lot of ministers gnashed their teeth and wrung their hands when he preached.” (Source )
In 1936 Branham encountered a group of Oneness Pentecostals (Non-trinitarians, they believe in Jesus only), he was impressed with the group’s sincerity but refused to associate with them. Not long after his wife and daughter were killed in the Ohio River flood of 1937 Branham interpreted this as a divine punishment for rejecting the Pentecostals. 

Branham claimed to have been met in a cave in Kentucky by an angelic visitor on May 7, 1946 who came in the form of a pillar of fire. (Isn't it odd that Muhammed was visited by an angelic visitor in a cave about 1300 years earlier) The luminescent messenger told Branham: “God has sent you to take a gift of divine healing to the people of the world. If you will be sincere, and get the people to believe you, nothing shall stand before your prayer, not even cancer” Starting that day Branham began a healing ministry performing incredible feats of diagnosing diseases. In his first year of ministry he claimed over 35,000 healings

Branham claimed to have that angel follow him throughout his entire life speaking to him in audible voice. He waited for this angel to be near him in his services before he could do any healing miracles. During his services he would fall into a trance and he claimed that his angle would work through him. When asked if the Holy Spirit healed the afflicted Branham replied "No, my angel does it" (Source, page 30)

Along with his bizarre healing methods and his heretical doctrines,  Branham was adept at "slaying in the spirit" just like Benny Hinn. He enjoyed remarkable popularity among many Pentecostals, and was warmly received by such notables as Demos Shakarian (founder of the Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International), Oral Roberts, W.V. Grant, A.A. Allen, Gordon Lindsay (founder of Christ for the Nations), O.L. Jaggers, George Warnock, and Franklin Hall. 

Pentecostals loved him and adored almost everything he said, their only complaint was when he finished a prophesy with a loud "thus sayeth the Lord!" Even at his wackiest the Pentecostals hung on every word. Did I say "wackiest"? Yes I did. Here's a short list of Branham's teachings (source):

He claims to have been with Moses at the burning bush, he says he saw the Spirit of God part the Red Seal. He claims to have been with John the Baptist when he baptized Jesus, and he was with the 120 in the Upper Room when Jesus returned from the dead. He claims to have been Elijah the Prophet. He prophesied that Jesus would return in 1977, he prophesied that he would be the one to open the seven seals. 

Branham's doctrine was confused, muddled, and semi-coherent. He firmly believed that there is no Hell and was an annihilationist. He was a vehement anti-trinitarian teaching a form of Modalism, Instead of three Persons in the Godhead, he taught that there was only one Person (Jesus) using different titles or modes at various times in history. This is a variation of a second century heresy taught by Sabellius know as Modalistic Monarchianism and Branham would get pretty hot about it
"Now my precious brothers - I know this is a tape also. Now don't get excited. Let me say this with Godly love. The hours approached where I can't hold still on these things no more... Trinitarianism is of the devil. I tell you that - Thus saith the Lord" (William Branham, Footprints on the Sands of Time: The autobiography of William Marrion Branham, Part Two (Jeffersonville, IN: Spoken Word Publications, 1975), 606-7)
Along with being an anti trinitarian he preached a form of baptism that I've never heard of before, He claimed that proper baptism was needed to avoid the "Mark of the Beast" (this being of denominational churches) and escape the danger of missing the rapture and entering the Tribulation. To him the only proper baptism must be in the name of Jesus only. He claimed that baptizing as outlined in Matthew 28:19 was unacceptable to God. His reasoning was because the bible said "name" not "names" (Source)

He claimed that the Zodiac and the Pyramids were equally as important as the bible, he believed that God spoke to us in three ways: the scripture, the Zodiac, and the Egyptian pyramids. He claimed all these were revelations of God.
“The first Bible was in the sky, called the zodiac. … in the zodiac is the virgin. The last thing in the zodiac is Leo the Lion: the first coming of Christ through the virgin; the second coming, Leo the Lion, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah” (The Spoken Word; p.10-12 ; William Marrion Branham; Blasphemous Names, November 4, 1962, Branham Tabernacle, Jefferson, Indiana Vol. 3 No. 21)
The idea that the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt was constructed by Enoch as a memorial to God ( William Branham, All Things Are Possible, p. 162).
He taught that Jesus was Michael the Arc Angel
"And at that time Michael shall stand, the great prince.'  Michael was Christ of course, who fought the angelic world in Heaven with the devil.  Satan and Michael fought together, or fought against each other, rather.  And now.. 'And at that time.'  He said, 'as many was found written in the book was delivered, and those who had done righteous...'.  Watch at this.'" (Beginning and Ending of the Gentile Dispensation, Jefferson, In. - Sunday - 55- 0109E)
One of his weirdest teachings is the "Serpent Seed" doctrine where he twists Genesis 3, and instead of convincing Eve to take a bite of the apple, the Serpent goes a mite bit further with Eve:
This beast was so close to a human being (and yet was pure animal) that he could reason and talk. He was an upright creature and was somewhat in between a chimpanzee and a man, but closer to a man. He was so close to being human that his seed could, and did mingle with that of the woman and cause her to conceive. When this happened, God cursed the serpent. (Source)
This is Gnostic gnonsense, the Gnostic 3rd century Gospel of Philip states: “First, adultery came into being, afterward murder. And he was begotten in adultery, for he was the child of the Serpent. So he became a murderer, just like his father, and he killed his brother. Indeed, every act of sexual intercourse which has occurred between those unlike one another is adultery.”

But this strange teaching goes back even further. The Zohar, the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah brings up this serpent seed teaching. The Zohar (Soncino translation) in Bereishis 36b says
"When they begat children, the first born was the son of the (serpent's) slime. For two beings had intercourse with Eve and she conceived from both and bore two children. Each followed one of the male parents and their spirits parted one to this side and one to the other and similarly their characters."
Rabbi David Max Eichhorn traces the idea back through early Jewish Midrashic texts in his book Cain: Son of the Serpent. He identifies rabbis who taught that Cain was the son of the union between the Serpent and Eve. The serpent seed is mentioned in several Gnostic Gospels,along with the Gospel of Philip this is found in the Apocryphon of John and The Secret Book of John  which was found in the Nag Hammadi library.

Not only is the Serpent Seed rooted in Gnosticism but so is another passion of Branham's: The New Order of the Latter Rain. Latter Rain started in Canada and Branham got involved in 1947 and the tenants of Latter Rain fitted Branham's delusion that he was the Elijah before the second coming.
Latter Rain teaching is characterized by a highly typological hermeneutic. That is, the Bible is interpreted in a symbolic, extremely stylized manner. An emphasis is placed on extra-biblical revelation, such as personal prophecies, experiences, and directives straight from God. Latter Rain doctrine includes the following beliefs:
- the gifts of the Spirit, including tongues, are received through the laying on of hands
- Christians can be demonized and require deliverance
- God has restored all the offices of ministry to the Church, including apostle and prophet
- divine healing can be administered through the laying on of hands
- praise and worship will usher God into our presence
- women have a full and equal ministry role in the Church
- denominational lines will be destroyed, and the Church will unify in the last days
- the “latter rain” will bring God’s work to completion; the Church will be victorious over the world and usher in Christ’s kingdom
Today, the term “latter rain” is rarely used, but the theology of Latter Rain continues to exert an influence. Most branches of the Charismatic Movement adhere to Latter Rain teaching. Modern movements such as the Brownsville/Pensacola Revival, the Toronto Blessing, and the “holy laughter” phenomenon are a direct result of Latter Rain theology. (Source)
William Branham was the motivating factor behing the Latter Rain movement of the 40's and early 50's but it faltered and fell into disrepute with the death of William Branham in 1965 but  it was kept alive by certain survivors and reintroduced in a veiled manner into the Charismatic Renewal of the 60's and 70's. It sputtered along until Paul Cain  associate to William Branham, visited John Wimber and C. Peter Wagner in 1989. C. Peter Wagner saw the efforts of the Latter Rain as mistakes made by any pioneering enterprise would make (source)

Many false prophets inside and outside of the NAR admire Branham, including Todd Bentley, Jim Bakker, Tommy Olson, Paul Crouch, Jan Crouch, TL Osborne, Benny Hinn... in fact Branham is known as the Bad Root of the NAR

5 comments:

  1. Members of the NAR should be called "Branhamites."

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    1. Sadly there really are Branhamite churches
      http://branhamcult.dukeofmarshall.com/

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  2. Almost all of this is new to me. Thank you for taking the time to research this. Very helpful.

    Alec

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  3. FYI: I just had an article published in a Christian Apologetics Journal which is titled "Serpent Seed of Satan," see here:
    http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/serpent-seed-satan-article-christian-apologetics-journal

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    Replies
    1. I've been subscribing to the MCO Journal for 17 years!

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