False Anointed Ones at the End Time
William Branham taught that in the last days there would be people who were anointed by the true Holy Spirit but were not Christians. Is this teaching biblical?
The reasoning of William Branham
William Branham, in his sermon, develops an argument through reasoning with the scripture, that his doctrine of "false anointed ones at the end time" is correct. The following is a summary of William Branham’s teaching on the subject taken from his sermon of July 25, 1965 entitled “The Anointed Ones at the End Time”:
The biblical problems with this teaching
There are some significant problems with this teaching when one looks at what scripture says. It should be noted that all false doctrine is based on scripture. And all false doctrine is plausible. BUT when one studies false doctrine in light of ALL scripture, the errors in the teaching are evident.
The rains falls on the just and the unjust
Scripture must be taken in context. There is a well known saying in biblical interpretation that "A text without a context becomes a pretext for a proof-text.”
Matthew 5:43-48 states:
Is this passage speaking about how God sends his Holy Spirit on people? No!
It is talking about God's goodness to all as we read in Psalms 145:9:
We also see this reflected in the counterpart to Matthew 5:45 in Luke 6:
Matthew 5:43-48 is teaching us that we should love our enemies just as God does. William Branham has taken Matthew 5:45 out of context as a proof text. But when you read it in context, it does not mean what he wants it to mean.
Does Matthew 24:24 apply at the end-time?
It is important to read the words in Matthew 24:24 with those that follow shortly after in Matt 24:34:
A similar passage appears in Mark 13:30, shortly after the corresponding words of Mark 13:22:
“This generation” is used frequently in Matthew’s gospel for Jesus’ contemporaries, especially in a context of God’s impending judgment: see Matt. 11:16; Matt. 12:39, 41–42, 45; Matt. 16:4; Matt. 17:17 and especially Matt. 23:36 where God’s judgment on “this generation” leads up to Jesus’ first prediction of the devastation of the temple in Matt. 23:38.
It may safely be concluded that if it had not been for the embarrassment caused by supposing that Jesus was here talking about his Parousia (future return), no one would have thought of suggesting any other meaning for “this generation,” such as “the Jewish race” or “human beings in general” or “all the generations of Judaism that reject him” or even “this kind” (meaning scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees). Such broad senses, even if they were textually possible, would offer no help in response to the disciples’ question “When?”
This reference is clearly to the destruction of the temple, which did, as a matter of fact, take place some 40 years later while many of Jesus’ contemporaries must have been still alive. Therefore, all interpretations that this is talking about the end-time must be laid to rest. Matthew 24:34 refers to the same time-scale as Matt. 16:28 (which was also concerned with the fulfillment of Daniel 7:13–14): “some of those standing here will certainly not taste death before …” (see also Matt. 10:23, with the same Daniel reference: “you will not go through all the towns of Israel before …”). We can therefore also conclude that all of the portion of Matthew 24 preceding verse 34 also relates to Jesus contemporaries.
Turning to Mark, the most natural interpretation of “this generation” is the present generation, that is, the generation of Jesus and his contemporaries. This is the meaning of the phrase elsewhere in Mark (see Mark 8:12, 38 and Mark 9:19). This interpretation makes good sense if “all these things” corresponds to “these things” of Mark 13:29 (also in Mark 13:4), and both have as their reference point the events surrounding the destruction of Jerusalem (see Mark 13:2, 4, 14–23) rather than the return of the Son of Man.
A biblical generation was about forty years, which was not coincidentally the length of time between Jesus’ prediction and the destruction of Jerusalem. Those who claim that “these things” refers to the whole discourse (13:5–27), including the coming of the Son of Man and the end of the age (13:24–27), must conclude:
Various proposals have been made, including the church, the Jewish race, humanity as a whole, or the last generation before the end. None of these is convincing.
Jesus is not speaking of his ultimate return. He is referring to the time between his resurrection and the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.
Quotes of William Branham
What is the fruit of the Spirit? Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness. That right? [Congregation says, “Amen.”—Ed.] Fruit of the Spirit, many people rely upon that. Sometime that’s the devil. He can impersonate that, to the letter; he cer-…he can impersonate speaking in tongues, to the letter; interpretation of it, to the letter. Any of those gifts, he can impersonate it.
...What is the fruit of the Spirit? The manifestation of the promised Word. If they’d just a stopped to look, He did not have these things that they had, fruit of the Spirit, or anything. But the Word that was promised that day was manifesting Himself, that was exactly the Light of the hour. That was It, see. No matter how much education, and how kind, how much you speak with tongues, how much kind, gentle, and everything you are; unless you accept that Word of the hour, when It’s manifested before you, you’re in the same predicament. That might sound crude, I don’t mean it that way, but it’s Truth. Just, just believe It, see. All right. Now God forgive me. You see what I mean?
...Notice, but it’s what they produce that tells you the difference. “By their fruit,” Jesus said, “you shall know them.” “Man does not gather grapes off of a thistle,” even though the thistle be right in the grapevine. That could be possible, but the fruit will tell it. What is the fruit? The Word, for the fruit for the season. That’s what it is, their teaching. The teaching of what? The teaching of the season, what time it is. Man’s doctrine, denominational doctrine, but, or God’s Word for the season?
...Prophets, anointed ones! That right? "Wasn't we a prophet? Wasn't we anointed, anointed one? Have not I prophesied in Thy Name? And in Thy Name have not I cast out devils?" How can you do that, and refuse to be baptized in Jesus' Name? See? Oh, my! See how deceiving? Right up to that very point, then drop back. They go right up to the Word, then drop back. Now watch this. We get this out, just a minute.
The Spirit can come out here and anoint you to do certain thing, and you do it, but that don't mean you're saved. Think of it. Caiaphas prophesied. Judas cast out devils. See, the Spirit anointed him. This rain falls on the just and the unjust, the weeds can rejoice with the wheat. But it's what it is at the core. There's where you can, intellectuals, can accept and say, "Oh, sure, that looks good. I believe that." That still don't do it. No, sir. And the spirit can actually make witness of it, and still it isn't so. Because if that soul hasn't come from God, it can make all the impersonations out here, but it cannot be real. You can act healing, you can act like you have. You can act like you receive it. Christians can act like they're Christians, and act and be ever so good at it, but that don't mean they're saved. That's exactly right, see. The Spirit can be there, the real, genuine Spirit. The Holy Spirit can anoint you, that still don't mean you're saved. It's that inside soul that never dies, it's got Eternal Life. It always was Eternal Life. See? It come from God, it goes to God, it's the soul.
And now there'll be false anointed-ones in the last days, not false Jesus. They wouldn't stand for that. But, "false," anointed. They are anointed, yes, sir, but they're anti-Christ. They're anointed with the Spirit, to do the signs and wonders that Christ did, but won't line up with His Word. See? "Many will come to Me, that Day, and say, 'Lord, have not I prophesied, and cast out devils, in Your Name?'" He say, "Depart from Me, you that work iniquity. I never even knew you." "I was Pentecostal, Lord. Glory to God! I shouted. I spoke with tongues. And I laid hands on the sick, and healed them, cast out devils." "Depart from Me, you that work iniquity. I never knew you."
But, you see, you put a cocklebur seed and a wheat seed in the same bed and pour the water down upon them and anoint them, they'll both rejoice. They'll both grow by it, the same water. "The sun shines on the just and the unjust, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust, but by their fruits you shall know them." How can you keep from lining up with the Word? Amen. See what I mean? "The water falls on the just and the unjust," anoint it. Jesus said, "They will come to Me in that day, say, 'Lord! Lord! Have not I cast out devils? Have not I done prophesied? Have not I done great things in Your Name?'" He'll say, "You workers of iniquity, depart from Me, I don't even know you. Go into eternal hell that's been prepared for the devil and his angels."