Question 15 (ABM) - What doctrines comprise the message?
The following are a series of questions and answers between one of our editors (referred to as BTS) and an anonymous Branham minister (referred to as ABM). This subset of the Q&A relates to the current status of the "message". The full text of this question and its answer is below.
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Question 15 - What doctrines comprise the message?
This is a follow-on question from “What is the message?”
You indicated that Willam Branham was the root cause of many things in the Charismatic Movement. However, I think this is much too simplistic. WMB may have been the initiator of the healing revival, which I agree with, but others like Oral Roberts also had a significant impact. Furthermore, your view ignores the influence of third wave pentecostalism and the influence of people such as John Wimber and Chuck Smith.
You also state that “his name and influence continues to be regularly mentioned on TBN, and his teachings continue to have a profound impact on Charistimatic Christianity in varying degree.“ Again, I disagree. As Weaver states in his book on Branham, “In the days of his prominence, the 1950’s, what Spirit-filled believer did not know his name. But today, we may wonder, what believer does?”
Today, as Weaver confirms, William Branham is largely unknown outside the message. His followers are few and self-isolating.
Compare this to the ministry of Jesus Christ. Jesus was not known outside of Israel at the time of his death, but within 30 years after his resurrection, the new Christian church came under the direct persecution of the Roman emperor Nero in A.D. 64. Paul and Peter were both killed by Nero. Christians were known throughout the Roman Empire less than 50 years. But over 50 years after WMB died, he has been forgotten by virtually all of Christianity.
To his followers, William Branham is the most important person since Jesus Christ (and to many, he is even more important). But to the Christian and non-Christian world, he is virtually unknown. That is his true "vindication" and something that cannot be said of Jesus Christ or every true prophet or apostle in recorded history.
You state the primary message of WMB was that “liturgy, creeds, organizational structures, and numerous other aspects of modern Christianity that [are] not found in the scripture as part of early Christianity, should be purged from the church. This is the most basic explanation of the teaching”.
While William Branham did call for a return to the early church, I do not think that is the bulk of what he taught. He taught things that were clearly outside of what Paul and the apostles taught and what Jesus taught. His teaching on the seven seals and seven church ages were largely plagiarized from Clarence Larkin, with some minor changes. We will get to these things.
I am a person who believes the Bible and I do not hold to any specific denominational creed or belief. Anything I believe, I take back to scripture and that is one of the problems I have with WMB’s teachings. There are many things that are based on WMB’s eisegesis (that is, he started with a belief and then read that belief into the Bible). He constantly took things out of context and used proof texts to prove his point.
This brings me to my primary question: What are those primary beliefs or doctrines that will get me into the “Bride”? Given that I am a person who holds to the Bible, what are those unique teachings of WMB that will make me eligible for the "rapture"?
Thank you for your continued dialogue. I will take your last email has a lot to unwrap, so I will respond paragraph by paragraph.