King Saul - The Peoples' Choice?
On September 12, 2020, the first-ever English language debate between a message pastor (Jesse Smith of Akron, OH) and an ex-message Christian (Rod Bergen from the Off The Shelf podcast) took place. The discussion was moderated by Jay Cox and Tim Kraus.
Most message followers consider William Branham to be an infallible interpreter of scripture. It is the widely held view of message followers that, if we want to know what a passage of the Bible actually means, William Branham is the best source on all counts.
When encountering a passage in scripture that seems to be at odds with William Branham's interpretation, message preachers generally encourage message followers to simply put it "on the shelf" until God reveals to them why William Branham has the correct view.
But there are a number of biblical issues that William Branham seems to have messed up badly:
- Did God change Saul's name to Paul?
- Elijah and Elisha did pray
- Marriage and Divorce
- Was King Saul the people’s choice by democratic vote?
- Can you lose your salvation?
- How hard do lilies work?
- Did John weep for joy or because no one was worthy?
- Were Women were designed by Satan?
- Were Enoch and Noah alive at the same time?
- Is Jesus really Michael the Archangel?
You are currently on the article that is in bold. Was King Saul the people’s choice by democratic vote? Or was he the king that God chose?
- 1 What William Branham said
- 2 What the Bible says
- 3 Footnotes
- 4 Navigation
What William Branham said
The people chose Saul as king
- Now, David, or Saul, rather, when he was chosen, ... They said, "That's our king." And what did it lead them to? Finally, a backslidden condition. And their king backslid. And now, when God seen that their choice was no good, God went to choose Him a king.
- One time, when Israel chose a king, their first one, they made a terrible mistake. A great big seven foot head and shoulders: Saul! And he become a backslider and done disgrace to Israel. God then made Him a choice. And He said to Samuel, "Get some oil in the cruse and go up to Jesse's house, for I'll show you who I've chose." 
- Israel got off the track by denouncing God as their King and wanted Saul for a king.
Saul was elected in a democratic vote
- Saul come into power. He got a great following. … And he brought them into a democracy that was beyond anything that anybody had ever heard of.
- So they searched out through the country. And down in the tribe of Benjamin they found a man by the name of Kish, who had a son named Saul. And they chose him. 
- Saul had a army trained. Saul had a great intellectual army. They--they didn't want Samuel; as I preached here some time ago, somewhere. They had that great army. Oh, sure. Samuel, and Samuel told them; he brought them up before they elected this king.
- You remember when they come before Samuel, and they said, "We want Saul to be a king."
- Now, the people chose Saul, when Samuel absolutely told them not to do it…
Saul was initially a failure as a captain that the people chose
- Now, they chose him, and he was a great man, fine fellow, just exactly what they wanted; that was the guy. Now, they... Before they a--anointed him king, they made him chief captain just to give him a tryout. He was a failure to start with, to begin with. It wasn't in God's program. But however, when they chose him, finally was going to make him king, Samuel told them; he said, "Now, go on. 
What the Bible says
The people did not choose Saul as a captain, God did
- Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came, saying, To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me. And when Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said unto him, Behold the man whom I spake to thee of! this same shall reign over my people.
- And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God. Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?
The people wanted a king but it was God who chose Saul
- And ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities and your tribulations; and ye have said unto him, Nay, but set a king over us. Now therefore present yourselves before the LORD by your tribes, and by your thousands. And when Samuel had caused all the tribes of Israel to come near, the tribe of Benjamin was taken. When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found. Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold he hath hid himself among the stuff. And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king.
- And afterward they desired a king: and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of forty years.
Saul was not a failure as a captain
- And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together. And the people said unto Samuel, Who is he that said, Shall Saul reign over us? bring the men, that we may put them to death. And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the Lord hath wrought salvation in Israel. Then said Samuel to the people, Come, and let us go to Gilgal, and renew the kingdom there. And all the people went to Gilgal; and there they made Saul king before the Lord in Gilgal; and there they sacrificed sacrifices of peace offerings before the Lord; and there Saul and all the men of Israel rejoiced greatly.
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- 1 Samuel 8:15
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- Acts 13:21
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