False Anointed Ones at the End Time

From BelieveTheSign

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”:

  1. Matthew 24:24 states that “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”
  2. Christ means “anointed one”, so a false Christ is a false anointed one. Also, an anointed one is someone with a message and, therefore, a false christ is someone with a false message.
  3. Matthew 5:45 states that God “sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
  4. The “great signs and wonders” spoken of in Matt 24:24 are performed by people anointed with the true Holy Spirit but they are false.
  5. Hebrews 6:4-6 states that “ it is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. “Shared in the Holy Spirit” is an example of the rain falling on the unjust.
  6. The reason that the false christs could almost deceive the elect is that the false christs and false prophets are anointed by the true Holy Spirit. This can be proved because Jesus stated in Matt 5:45 that the rain falls on the true and the false.
  7. The wheat and the tares live and flourish by the same rain, the spirit of God, which falls on both of them.
  8. Examples of false anointed ones vs. true anointed ones – Balaam vs. Moses, Judas vs. Jesus, Zedekiah vs. Micaiah, and Hananiah vs. Jeremiah, Jannes & Jambres vs. Moses
  9. The Bible states that in the last days, Jannes & Jambres would appear on earth (2 Tim 3:8) – TSTL
  10. False anointed ones would arise in the last days and deceive many. False anointed ones believe “almost with every sign and every letter of the Word” (65-0725M)
  11. Matthew 7:21-22 is referring to false anointed ones - "Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’[1]

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.”[2]

Matthew 5:43-48 states:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. [3]

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:

The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.[4]

We also see this reflected in the counterpart to Matthew 5:45 in Luke 6:

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. [5]

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:

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.[6]

A similar passage appears in Mark 13:30, shortly after the corresponding words of Mark 13:22:

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.[7] ...Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.[8]

“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.[9]

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.[10]

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:

  1. that Jesus was mistaken,
  2. that the Son of Man’s return coincided with the destruction of Jerusalem, or
  3. that “generation” here carries a different meaning.

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?[11]


But what is it? It’s the Word that gives the test. Them Pharisees was twice as humble as Jesus. He went around tearing up their churches, and throwing them out, and beating them out, and everything like that. And this godly old priest, you know, why, who was…If I was having a meeting against Him, this morning; I’d say, who come to you when you were sick, pray for you? “That godly old priest.” Who loaned papa that money when his crops failed? “That godly old priest.” Who dedicated you to God, for a life of service? “That godly old priest.” Who was it, when you was in jail, come and visits you? “That godly old priest.” And this young renegade called Jesus, what does He do? Called your pastor a “snake”! See? See, it’s not by the fruits. It’s by the Word. “Man shall not live by fruit alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”[12]


"Many will come to Me in that day, and say, 'Lord, Lord, have not I prophesied in Your Name? Have not, in Your Name, I've cast out devils and done mighty works?' And I will say unto them, 'Depart from, you… Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity. I never even knew you.'" Yet, they come with a confession that they have did it, but Jesus said, "They were workers of iniquity." What is iniquity? Is something that you know you should do, that's right to do, and yet you don't do it. See what it's going to be in the last days?[13]


Otherwise, if He wanted to break it down so we would more or less understand it better, He would say, "In the last days there shall rise false, anointed ones." Now, that seems almost impossible, see, the terms of "anointed." But notice the very next words, "and false prophets," p-r-o-p-h-e-t-s, plural. Now, anointed one, is, "one with a message." And the only way the message can be brought out is by one that's anointed, and that would be a prophet, anointed. "There shall rise false, anointed teachers." A prophet teaches what his message is. Anointed teachers, but anointed people with false teaching. Anointed ones, "Christs," plural; "prophets," plural. And if there is such a thing as a—a Christ, singular, then these would have to be "anointed ones," that their prophecy of what they were teaching would be the difference, because they are anointed ones, anointed.

...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.[14]

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.[15]

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."[16]

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."[17]


Footnotes

  1. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 7:22–23.
  2. D. A. Carson, “Editorial: Take up Your Cross and Follow Me,” Themelios 37, no. 1 (2012): 2.
  3. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 5:43–48.
  4. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ps 145:9.
  5. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Lk 6:35–36.
  6. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 24:34
  7. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mk 13:22.
  8. The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mk 13:30.
  9. R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co., 2007), 930.
  10. Mark L. Strauss, Mark, ed. Clinton E. Arnold, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014), 594.
  11. Willilam Branham, 64-0206B - Paradox?, para. 219-220, 230-233
  12. Willilam Branham, 64-1212 - The Harvest Time, para. 190-192
  13. Willilam Branham, 65-0418E - Does God Ever Change His Mind About His Word?, para. 111
  14. Willilam Branham, 65-0725M - The Anointed Ones At The End Time, para. 24-25, 59, 192
  15. Willilam Branham, 65-1126 - Works Is Faith Expressed, para. 206
  16. Willilam Branham, 65-1205 - Things That Are To Be, para. 114
  17. Willilam Branham, 65-1207 - Leadership, para. 263-264


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