The Sufficiency of Scripture
The doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture is one of the primary reasons for concluding that the message of William Branham is unnecessary for Christians today.
Are scriptures sufficient?
The doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture can be defined as follows:
This definition emphasizes that it is in Scripture alone that we are to search for God’s words to us. It also reminds us that God considers what he has told us in the Bible to be enough for us, and that we should rejoice in the great revelation that he has given us and be content with it.
Should the Bible be sufficient for Message believers?
Sadly, followers of William Branham are not content with the wisdom and knowledge that God has provided us in scripture.
The apostle Paul told Timothy this:
The apostle Peter tells us:
Should we add to scripture?
It is important to understand that never in church history has God added to the teachings or commands of Scripture: Nowhere in church history outside of Scripture has God added anything that he requires us to believe or to do. Scripture is sufficient to equip us for “every good work,” and to walk in its ways is to be “blameless” in God’s sight. Similarly, God has not spoken to mankind any more words which he requires us to believe or obey other than those which we have now in the Bible.
The sufficiency of Scripture reminds us that we are to add nothing to Scripture and that we are to consider no other writings of equal value to Scripture. This principle is violated by almost all cults and sects. Message believers claim to believe the Bible, but they also claim divine authority for William Branham's message. In practice they hold the sermons of William Branham on a par with Scripture or above it in authority. Since these claims violate God’s commands not to add to his words, we should not think that any additional words from God to us would be found in these writings.
Even in Christian churches a similar error is sometimes made when people go beyond what Scripture says and assert with great confidence new ideas about God or heaven, basing their teachings not on Scripture but on their own speculation or even on claimed experiences of dying and coming back to life.
The sufficiency of Scripture also tells us that God does not require us to believe anything about himself or his redemptive work that is not found in Scripture. The sufficiency of Scripture shows us that no modern revelations from God are to be placed on a level equal to Scripture in authority. We must insist that God does not require us to believe anything about himself or his work in the world that is contained in these revelations but not in Scripture. And we must insist that God does not require us to obey any moral directives that come to us through such means but that are not confirmed by Scripture.
What are we to conclude?
If someone claims to have a message from God telling us what we ought to do, we need never assume that it is sin to disobey such a message unless it can be confirmed by the application of Scripture itself to our situation.
What William Branham taught
William Branham initially appeared to believe in the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture:
However, he later changed his mind and stated that the church needed a scriptural sign (which is not taught in the Bible):
This progressed to a rather than simply needing to focus on the Bible, we needed a prophet (hint... William Branham):
A prophet (hint... William Branham) was needed to interpret the word. Scripture was not sufficient in itself, we needed a prophet to get it right: