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This article is one in a series of studies on message theology - you are currently on the article that is in bold:
- William Branham's Major Doctrines
- Did William Branham steal his doctrine from others?
- Did William Branham have the spirit of Elijah?
- Doctrines that William Branham taught that are not in the Bible
- William Branham's Theology
- Other minor doctrines of William Branham
To followers of William Branham, "theology" is a bad word. What they fail to realize is that the word "theology" simply means - “The study of God” and is also used as a general term for the study of all the teachings of the Bible. They also fail to realize that William Branham recognized that he had a theology and he knew it was his own theology that he was teaching.
This article contains links to articles on various doctrines taught by William Branham. Click on the bolded part of the descriptions to read the full article.
William Branham's view of theology
William Branham was fond of ridiculing "theology" and even making it Satanic:
- Oh, oh, certainly they know all the Greek words, and they know the--their education. God isn't known by theology or education. God's knowed by faith. Knowledge takes a man away from God; faith brings him to God. That's what separated him from God in the garden of Eden. He went to the tree of knowledge. 
- This is the Satan's superman with education, with wisdom, with church theology of his own word, of his own making, and he rides his white denominational horse to deceive the people. 
- Then, Satan got Eve to listen to his gospel of theology, the gospel of knowledge, higher schooling, higher ethics, better civilization, higher education, and so forth; 
But he also seemed to realize that theology could be Biblical:
- Now, so then God blessed him. God will bless anyone who will go back to the old landmark of the Bible and start from the Bible, not according to theology ...or some man-made theology, but from true Bible theology, and start from the old landmark and move up, God will move with you. 
William Branham also knew that he had his own theology, and insisted that it was the only correct theology:
- How would God let me tell something wrong, and stand up with my very message. These things are only to indicate a Divine a vindication that my theology is right. That's exactly right. The Word of the Lord came to the prophets. 
William Branham's system of theology
William Branham's theological system is an example of the "if-you’re-a-hammer-everything’sa-nail" syndrome. His approach to Biblical texts is to find and quote only those that support his theological beliefs—his status as a prophet, serpent seed, Larkin's dispensationalism, the message dress code, etc. This may or may not be appropriate based on the text(s) under consideration.
What is the Bible in the message context? It is a depository for proof-texts. A proof-text is a biblical statement or citation that (purportedly) does not require a context in order to be coherent and meaningful. Its function has nothing to do with the overarching biblical story in which it is embedded or in the specific genre in which it is found. Also, the function of a proof-text is assigned by an extra-biblical structure: the system of doctrine. The Bible exists primarily to support the message.
A text without a context is a pretext for a proof text. In other words, the failure to consider the context of a passage may become a pretext for perverting a text into a proof text. This is common in William Branham;s theology. He takes a passage, ignores everything that is said around it and makes his whole case out of that.
Examples of William Branham's theology (message theology)
|Luke 17:30 Did William Branham have a son of man ministry?|
|Ephesians 4:30 When is a person sealed by the Holy Spirit?|
|Justification, Sanctification, and the Holy Spirit One of the most destructive concepts taught by William Branham was his concept of the new birth, which was something that you had to earn by your conduct.|
|Temporary Salvation William Branham believed that salvation (and healing) only lasts as long as your faith lasts. But what does the Bible say?|
|Can you lose your healing? William Branham taught that it was possible for God to supernaturally heal a person and then for that person to lose their healing. But what does the Bible say?|
|Legalism Legalism says that we have to live a holy, good life if we want God to love us. Why did William Branham teach this, and what does the Bible say?|
|John 18:6 William Branham stated that the spirit of God left Jesus at Gethsemane and, on the cross, Jesus died as a man (and not as the Son of God). What does the Bible say about this?|
|Matthew 27:46 William Branham stated that on the cross: Jesus died as a man, separated from God, died screaming for help, and crying for mercy. Sadly, while these things are believed by those that follow the message of William Branham, these things are not found in the Bible.|
|El Shaddai In one corner, we have the "Breasted God", and in the other corner we have the "Almighty God". Who do you think will win, and why did William Branham teach that El Shaddai was the breasted God?|
|Eternal Sonship. An example of William Branham's lazy theology is his approach to the concept of the eternal sonship of Christ. Why lazy? Because he believed that God was the eternal Father ...but to be a Father, don't you have to have a Son?|
|Marriage and Divorce What did William Branham teach about remarriage after divorce?|
|Matt Dillon Did William Branham have difficulty separating fiction from reality?|
|Matthew 27:46 Did Jesus die as a man on the cross, screaming and crying for help?|
Quotes of William Branham
But now, Moses has a personal experience. That's what the church needs tonight, is just stop studying so much theology, and get down to the altar, and pray until a personal experience burns down into the human heart, and burns out all the dullness, and gives a new vision.
Moses had done give up hopes. Was back on the backside of the desert, herding his father-in-law Jethro's sheep, when one morning, back on the backside of the desert, he saw a bush burning. He got in the presence of this bush, though Moses was a theologian, because he was trained in the wisdom and all the learning of the Egyptians, been told by his mother that he was called for a purpose, and all of his theological experience became nothing to him.
Moses was a great theologian. He was taught in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. Well, certainly, there was nothing Moses didn't know. 
Now, we'll take another one: Moses. Moses, oh, he was a trained theologian. He really knew, 'cause he could—he could teach the Egyptians wisdom. He was so smart. And he knew that he was born, raised up to be a deliver of Israel. So he thought he could take his theological training and really go out there and do it. But he found out he was a failure. 
Moses, a great, highly polished theologian, great man, borned to be a prophet; yet, in all of his theology and his—his book knowledge of God, could not deliver the children of Israel by knowledge. You see, the prophet cannot go by knowledge. He's got to go by inspiration. Inspiration!
Now there isn't a theologian under the skies that can deny this Message that we're preaching, but what It's exactly the Word of God right in time. God has a vindicate it, in everything that's been said or done. He's proved It to be right.
- Systematic Theology: Revised Edition, ed. Stanley M. Horton, 652 (Springfield, MO: Logion Press, 2007).
- ISRAEL.AND.THE.CHURCH.2_ JEFF.IN IC 35-64 THURSDAY_ 53-0326
- THE.FIRST.SEAL_ JEFF.IN 63-0318
- SATAN'S.EDEN JEFF.IN V-2 N-20 65-0829
- FATHER.THE.HOUR.HAS.COME_ CHICAGO.IL TUESDAY_ 56-1002A
- BE.NOT.AFRAID CHAUTAUQUA.OH 60-0609
- Michael R. Emlet, Crosstalk: Where Life & Scripture Meet (Greensboro, NC: New Growth Press, 2009).
- D. A. Carson, “Kingdom of Heaven: Jesus, Christian, Law,” in D. A. Carson Sermon Library (Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2016), Mt 5:17–48.
- William Branham, 54-0724 - A Personal Experience With God, para. 13
- William Branham, 61-0205M - Expectation, para. 79
- William Branham, 61-0207 - Expectation, para. 31
- William Branham, 61-0308 - Expectations, para. 46
- William Branham, 64-0120 - His Unfailing Words Of Promise, para. 49
- William Branham, 65-0418E - Does God Ever Change His Mind About His Word?, para. 120