The Token

From BelieveTheSign

One of the most confusing teachings of William Branham was his concept of "the token".

What William Branham believed

William Branham said the token was the seal, the Holy Spirit and that without the token, a person was lost. He believed that the token could be applied to an entire family for their salvation.

William Branham attached to the token his own idea of 'holiness' by turning it into a list of rules (rules that aren't even in the Bible!) He even claimed that it was "God's requirement of the hour" and tied the "token" directly to his "evening-time message".

He also instructed the people that in order to "apply the token" they had to "clean out the cupboard". He told them that they could "apply the Token in prayer, with confidence" after they had cleaned themselves up.

What the Bible teaches

In Ephesians, the Bible tells us what the seal of God is and who receives it:

And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.[1]

It doesn't say "when you've cleaned yourself up". It says, "when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit."

How many in the message have tried to "apply the token" to their home with William Branham's long list of rules? How many people have lived in fear that "the token" was not properly applied to their household?

But when you look closely at Acts 16:31 (which William Branham referenced relating to the token) you get a different picture:

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.”[2]

In other words, there is nothing we can do to justify ourselves to God. The only righteousness that God accepts comes “apart from law” (Rom. 3:21).

It has nothing to do with meeting a set of laws and ordinances!

If the token for Israel was the blood of a lamb over the doorpost, and the token for us is the Blood of Jesus Christ on the doorpost of our hearts, then we must honor what the Blood of Christ represents:

 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight...[3]

The Bible specifically tells us that it is not by works.

So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.[4]
Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith![5]

William Branham also referenced Ephesians 4:30

You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.[6]

There is no reference to a list of rules, but rather 'speaking so that it MAY GIVE GRACE to those who hear'. The Christian is under one law - the law of love:

...for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.[7]

William Branham created his own "gospel" based on his own idea of "holiness", and, not surprisingly, this is the focus of his followers.

The problem? It's not Biblical.

It's unfortunate that so many wonderful and sincere people are striving to follow the 'Branham laws' when the beautiful Grace of Jesus Christ is sufficient.

Detailed examples of William Branham's teaching

William Branham taught that the Token was the Holy Spirit:

And the Token is the Holy Spirit.[8]
Now the token is not the Blood; it is the Life that was in the Blood, the Holy Spirit. And that's the... I don't care how religious you are; unless you've received the Holy Ghost, you'll perish. That's the only way. There is not another Scripture to do anything, only that alone. "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby you are sealed until the day of your redemption," Ephesians 4:30.[9]


And without the token, a person was lost:

Without the Token, you're lost. The wrath is upon you, see, that's all, without the Token.[10]


He also taught that the token was a few other things as well:

The Token is Christ.[11]
The Token is to identify Jesus Christ, His resurrection. And here It is now identifying Him, doing the same that He did when He stood here in a corporal body. O Father God, may the people see and realize how all these Scriptures and things are perfectly fulfilled.[12]
And how can you deny that the Bible is true, part of It, and still say you have the Token, when the Token is the testimony of Jesus Christ?...
The Token is the Word identified in you, living Itself out. That's God being His Own interpreter. You don't have to say, "Well, now, you interpret my tongue." That ain't it. He interprets your life by the Word. When He takes your word, what you are, and identify His Word through there, there don't need any interpretation, it's already there. God does His Own interpretation, and we've had these promises for the day.[13]


He also taught that the token was the seal of the Holy Spirit:

He that gives us the Life, the Token, a seal of His promise. Ephesians 4:30, said, "Grieve not the blood"? No. "Grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are..." [Congregation says, "'Sealed.'"--Ed.] "Covenanted, put away." You are covenanted. You are. A Token, the Holy Spirit, will be the seal. When anything is sealed inside of a seal, you better not break it. Can't break it, you, not God's Seal. No. See? For you are... "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed until the day of your redemption, when the body is raised up."[14]
The Token seal, of the Holy Ghost, is our promise. Ephesians 4:30, said, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you're sealed until the day of your redemption."[15]
"I want the Seal. I want the Token in my life.[16]


William Branham stated that for the token to be effective it had to be applied:

The Blood is the Token, and the Token must be applied, see, or (it's not) even the covenant is not in effect.TOKEN_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-19 SUNDAY_ 63-0901M
I'm talking about the applied Token. The Token agrees with every Word. See? It's got to, because It is the Word. It's the Life that was in the Word. "My Words are Spiritual; They are Life," said Jesus. See?[17]


And the token could be applied to a person's entire family:

Believe, for safety. Then apply, see. Believe for... Here is what you want to believe for. See, you want your own safety. You believe for your safety, and then apply the Token for the whole family. See? You say, "How can I do that?" Claim It! If It worked on you, then you and the Word becomes one. Amen! Amen! See? See, It works for both of you. You and the Word are one, then apply It to your children, apply It to your loved ones.
Like Rahab did, she applied the token to her father, she applied it to her mother, she applied it to her brothers and sisters, and got them all in. You apply It, say, "Lord, I'm going after my son. I'm going after my daughter. I claim her! 'Satan, you turn her loose!' I'm coming after her. I apply my Token, the Holy Spirit. O Holy Spirit, that lives within me, catch my daughter there. I'm going to her now, with Your anointing upon me." He'll do it.
...Apply the Token, then walk with It. Claim your household. You must do it now. This is evening time. Now, you've been listening a long time, now this is the evening time. It's applying time now. The wrath will strike, one of these days, it might be too late then. See? Apply the Token, with confidence.[18]


The application of the token required you to clean up your life. It's all about works:

Move out! Some people wants to apply the Blood and stay in. You apply the Blood and kick all the trash out of the house, and have a housecleaning time. You women take off them shorts. You man throw away them cigarettes; and you women, too. Get all this old stuff out of the system here, that's called the world. "If you love the world, or the things of the world, is because the love of God is not even in you." When you are ready to apply the Token, empty up and get ready for It. "You can't serve God and mammon at the same time."
...Yes, clean out the cupboard, clean out this house, oh, we have a good old-fashion housecleaning! Let the Blood be applied, and then the Token will come in. Clean it out! Sanctify it! Then apply the Token in prayer, with confidence, when you've cleaned yourself up. You've got away from the thing of the world. You've dumped all the unbelief out. "I don't care what the people says. If the Word of God says it, and promised it, I believe it. If the Word says it, that settles it. I don't care what anybody else says." See? Then when you got all that done, you've applied the Blood and you believe every Word, then take your Token in prayer, be fully convinced.
...We read in--in Ephesians, 2nd chapter and 12 verse, about what God said about it, when we applied this Token. Notice, "serving the living God," with living works, and with living signs, with a living Token. Not dead works, and carnal, not dead works. Hebrews 9:11-14, tells us again, the same thing. Not dead creeds; but a living Token! They, these creeds, deny that there is such a thing as the Token. They don't even believe there is such a thing as the Token, the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
...How many people in here that knows, that the way you live, that you really haven't got that Token applied, you know It isn't there? You believe It, you absolutely believe It; but you haven't got It, you know you haven't? Would you just raise you hand, say, "Pray for me, Brother Branham"? Let all heads be down. God bless you.[19]
When you apply the Token, know that you are cleaned up.
...but any way you want to do it, it's alright, in your seat, at the altar, wherever it is. The only thing, apply That, a Token to you. Then look yourself over, and look what kind of life what's going on, see if It's been applied or not. If It hasn't, then lay ever what you got, aside, and come back, till the Token is applied.[20]


William Branham also taught that believing his message was to apply the token:

"But when I see the Token, I'll pass over you." It's God's requirement of the hour. The evening-time Message, is to apply the Token.
"I'll be with you. I'll be in the Luther age; I'll be in the Wesleyan age; I'll be in the Pentecostal age; but at right at the evening time, it'll come Light." The denominationals will fade away, and then the Token will be applied. And all these that's honest in heart, down through there, without--without you they won't be--be made perfect.[21]


Footnotes

  1. Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Eph 1:13–14.
  2. Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Ac 16:31.
  3. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Eph 1:7–8.
  4. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ro 11:5–6.
  5. Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Ro 3:27.
  6. Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006), Eph 4:29–30.
  7. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ro 13:8–10.
  8. THE.VOICE.OF.THE.SIGN_ TULARE.CA V-22 N-12 FRIDAY_ 64-0214
  9. JEHOVAH.JIREH.2_ LOUISVILLE.MS FRIDAY_ 64-0403
  10. TOKEN_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-19 SUNDAY_ 63-0901M
  11. DESPERATIONS_ JEFF.IN V-4 N-1 SUNDAY_ 63-0901E
  12. THE.TOKEN_ BAKF.CA V-22 N-8 SATURDAY_ 64-0208
  13. THE.TOKEN_ DALLAS.TX V-19 N-12 SUNDAY_ 64-0308
  14. TOKEN_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-19 SUNDAY_ 63-0901M
  15. THE.TOKEN_ SHREVEPORT.LA V-17 N-6 THURSDAY_ 63-1128E
  16. THE.TOKEN_ SHREVEPORT.LA V-17 N-6 THURSDAY_ 63-1128E
  17. TOKEN_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-19 SUNDAY_ 63-0901M
  18. TOKEN_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-19 SUNDAY_ 63-0901M
  19. THE.TOKEN_ BAKF.CA V-22 N-8 SATURDAY_ 64-0208
  20. THE.TOKEN_ DALLAS.TX V-19 N-12 SUNDAY_ 64-0308
  21. TOKEN_ JEFF.IN V-2 N-19 SUNDAY_ 63-0901M


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